Blog: Unbridled backslapping over WTO GM ruling

Catherine Sleep | 8 February 2006

The World Trade Organisation (WTO) this week sided with the US and other countries that support biotechnology by preliminarily ruling that the European Union had contravened WTO trade rules by banning imports of genetically modified food. Cue much chuffed backslapping on the part of US farm, agribusiness, biotechnology industry and government officials.

Yet their victory may be hollow. The moratorium in question actually ended nearly two years ago, so the ruling will trigger no immediate change. While it’s always nice to be told you were right, being right does not translate into sales. Significantly, the ruling has nothing to do with the perceived environmental or food safety of GM crops and ingredients, which is the real stumbling block in convincing European markets to embrace biotechnology.

I suspect that many European consumers’ first response to finding out that the EU Commission’s actions have been deemed improper will be to rush to its defence. Rightly or wrongly, and there is a body of evidence to suggest the latter, many consumers feel deep suspicion towards GM foods and support the cautious approach adopted by their elected representatives.

There's more indepth discussion of the impact of the ruling here:

WTO ruling puts spotlight back on GM


BLOG

Another buying partnership on cards in France

Yet more news of a potential purchasing alliance between France's largest grocers....

BLOG

Food part of Nestle's investment in consumer healthcare in China

Nestle has announced the opening of two consumer healthcare in China and one of which will be supplying foods "for special medical purposes"....

BLOG

What does Gen Z want from brands? IRI presents its view

Industry watchers IRI has published the findings of two studies in the US they claim can give an insight into the shopping patterns of those aged 21 and under - Gen Z....

BLOG

The identity of the buyer of Tyson's Kettle business emerges

In February, we reported Tyson Foods had sold its Kettle business, one of a series of non-protein disposals at the US meat giant. But the company would not disclose the buyer. This week, the new owner...



Forgot your password?