The EU’s commissioner for consumer and health protection, David Byrne, is to visit the US later this week to hold discussions with his US counterparts on various current issues including avian influenza.

The European Commission said Byrne is to meet with Ann Veneman, US Secretary of Agriculture, on Thursday to discuss “a wide range of topics of mutual interest with a view to facilitating improved bilateral relations and mutually beneficial trade results”.

Byrne will also meet with World Bank executive directors to discuss the impact of food safety standards on developing countries. He will then meet with Manely Molpus, president of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, to discuss nutritional labelling and health claims. The commissioner will also have meetings with the Food and Drugs Administration’s acting commissioner, Lester Crawford, and Health Deputy Secretary Claude Allen.

On Friday, Byrne is due to meet with US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick. Byrne is also set to participate at a conference on “The Regulation of Food Safety and the use of traceabilty/tracing in the EU and the USA: convergence or divergence?” organised by The Atlantic Council and the European Policy Centre.