UE GM Food Laws Rejected

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Wednesday, 12 April, 2000, 11:58 GMT 12:58 UK GM food laws rejected

GM companies said propsals would destroy industry The European Parliament has rejected changes to a European Union law that would have made GM producers legally responsible for any damage caused by their products to public health or to the environment.

The changes had been under attack by Europe's biotech industry, which claims they would force the fledgling sector out of Europe.

The industry says the proposed legislation would have saddled companies with an intolerable financial and regulatory burden.

Antibiotic resistance

Another controversial proposal would have banned the use of certain marker genes used in GM crops. These genes confer resistance to antibiotics.

Anti-GM campaigners fear that this antibiotic resistance could transfer to bacteria in cattle, potentially leading to untreatable "superbugs".

A third amendment was aimed at preventing the accidental transfer of modified genes to other crops by cross pollination.

These amendments were not only opposed by the GM crop companies but also by the EU's member states and by the European Commission.

-- viewer (justp@ssing.by), April 12, 2000

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