The World Trade Organization has decided to allow scientists to testify on the safety of genetically modified foods before it issues its decision on the trade dispute.
The outcome of the transatlantic trade dispute over genetically modified foods has been delayed. The World Trade Organization panel in Geneva, which is hearing the case, has decided to bring scientists into the debate on the safety of GM foods and crops before issuing its report. The United States, Canada and Argentina filed the case last year in the WTO over the EU's de facto moratorium on approving genetically modified foods for sale in Europe. US farm exporters estimate the ban has stopped annual sales of bio-engineered corn to Europe worth some $300 million (€248 million), the Washington Post reported. The US government has been fighting to prevent the panel from calling in scientists while the European Union, for its part, has questioned whether the WTO is the appropriate place to settle such disputes and has pushed for scientists to be involved in the debate. The WTO Panel was initially expected to report on the case before the end of this year, but is now to deliver its report in late March, according to the Washington Post. (EUobserver.com)