US Trade Official Denies Rumors that Clinton Administration
is Considering a Proposal to Label GE Foods

Sept 24/99 Reuters
WASHINGTON - A top U.S. trade official on Friday strongly denied the
United States will offer a proposal for labeling food products made from
genetically-modified crops in upcoming world trade talks.
"That is absolutely not the case," Peter Scher, special U.S. ambassador
for agricultural trade, told Reuters. "We have no plans to bring a
labeling proposal." He was referring to comments by a food industry
consultant who said earlier that U.S. government agencies have agreed to
develop such a labeling plan.
Charles Benbrook, an independent consultant who works on biotechnology
issues, made the remark during a morning press conference with
representatives from the American Corn Growers Association and the
National Family Farm Coalition.
The groups raised a number of concern about genetically modified crops,
which are expected to be a hot topic in world trade talks that begin in
Seattle in late November with a meeting of the World Trade Organization.
The U.S. focus in the WTO talks will be to ensure "the regulatory
system for the approval of these technologies are based on science and are
transparent in order to assure consumers about the safety of these
products," Scher said.
Suggestions the United States will develop a labeling proposal
"certainly don't reflect the policy of this administration," he said.