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The EU Must Resist U.S. Pressure and Protect Consumer Rights on GE Foods

The EU must resist U.S. pressure
and protect consumer rights on GM foods

PRESS STATEMENT: for immediate release
January 20, 2006

The TransAtlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) demands that the European Union
and U.S. governments listen to consumers and not attempt to force
genetically modified (GM) foods on to European markets. The call comes amid
reports of a WTO ruling ­ expected in the next two weeks - in favor of the
United States challenge to European delays in approving new types of
genetically modified (GM) foods.

The Bush Administration claims that the EU's cautionary approach has
resulted in lost markets for American farmers. Yet, consumer suspicion over
the GM content in U.S. maize (corn) had already caused sales to Europe to
drop by more than half, before the delay in GM crop approvals began in 1998.
European consumers continue to avoid GM foods.

Jim Murray of the European consumer organization BEUC said:
"The U.S. effort to force GM foods upon unwilling consumers is offensive and
misguided. Consumers cannot be forced to buy and eat food that they do not
want."

Rhoda Karpatkin representing the US-based Consumers Union said:
"A WTO ruling in favor of the U.S. will only increase consumer suspicion of
GM crops and of a global trading system that subsumes the public interest to
the interests of giant biotechnology firms."

TACD, which includes all the major consumer organizations on both sides of
the Atlantic, supports labeling and safety testing of GMOs, and consumer
choice about consuming them.

(Full TACD Statement follows on next page)

Editors Note: TACD consists of EU and U.S. consumer organizations that
develop joint consumer policy recommendations for the EU and U.S. in an
effort to promote the consumer interest in transatlantic policymaking.
TACD's network of 65 EU and U.S. national consumer organizations has a
direct paid-up membership of some 20 million consumers. For more
information, please visit www.tacd.org.

For more information contact:
Jean Halloran, Consumers Union of the US, hallje@consumer.org; +1
914-367-2457
Jim Murray, BEUC, jim.murray@beuc.org +32 2 743 1591

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This GMO news service is underwritten by a generous grant from the Newman's
Own Foundation, edited by Thomas Wittman and is a production of the
Ecological Farming Association www.eco-farm.org <http://www.eco-farm.org/>
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