EU agriculture commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel has warned Europe's meat industry is threatened with "disaster" by the bloc's foot-dragging over approving genetically modified foodstuffs.

Speaking today (15 October) at the European Policy Centre in Brussels, the commissioner warned blocking US soy imports over contamination with GM materials meant traders were "talking of halting imports from the US altogether."

Fischer Boel warned: "If this happens, in the current market conditions, our livestock sector faces disaster. Even if we can get the soya from elsewhere…our livestock sector would have to pay higher prices."

She accused EU ministers of flouting science by ignoring European Food Safety Authority advice that a range of GM products are safe, and refusing to take decisions - leaving the Commission to use time-consuming reserve powers to authorise GM products. Meanwhile, if traces of such unauthorised products appear in import cargoes, they are blocked.