The European Union is on course to adopt a far-reaching review of its policy on biotechnology that could have important consequences for food manufacture following the adoption today [Friday] of a report on the subject by the European Parliament. The European Commission said the report would be incorporated in a broad policy paper that would amount to “a comprehensive biotechnology initiative” which would be published before the year-end.

While the Parliament’s report calls for full recognition of environmental, social and ethical concerns, the betting is that the Commission will nevertheless  try to encourage novel foods and manufacturing techniques as part of its drive to develop a competitive knowledge-based economy in the EU.

By Alan Osborn, correspondent