A US official has urged the European Union to do more to allay concerns about the safety of genetically modified crops.

US Commerce Undersecretary Grant Aldonas said that the EU dispute over GM crops has blocked US corn shipments to Europe and is now disrupting US food aid to Africa. The US is keen to resolve the dispute without resorting to legal proceedings in front of the World Trade Organisation, as the US has previously threatened to do.

Aldonas said he would deliver his message to a meeting with EU officials today [Friday]. He said it was important to get the situation resolved so that food aid could resume to starving African nations such as Zambia, which have refused US food aid because of its GM content. One of the reasons for Zambia’s refusal to accept the aid is that it fears future food exports to the EU would be put in jeopardy, reported Reuters.