In EU, front lines in food war – International Herald Tribune
Greece and a few other EU countries that have banned genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are on the front lines of a war over the future of such food in Europe, the only large swath of the world that does not already grow or purchase such crops. Last Friday, the Polish president signed into law a similar ban, following Austria some months back.
Facing international pressure and a lawsuit at the World Trade Organization, the EU said this year that all member states must open their doors to GMOs, preparing practical and legal regulations to ensure safety for health and the environment. But five countries have imposed eight different types of ban. Many others use their votes in Europe's Council of Ministers to block the crops from entering.
Furthermore, the battle pits the United States and Canada, which produce the vast majority of such seeds and crops, against their closest European allies. The United States is not shy about enlisting its diplomats to push European countries to admit GMOs, according to European politicians. European consumers and farmers generally do not want them, leaving the EU trying to steer a Solomonic course between competing and conflicting interests.