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BIOSAFETY: Biotech firms welcome Cartagena desaster



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Biotech firms welcome GMO talks breakdown 
ENDS Daily - 25/02/99 
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European and international biotechnology industry groups have welcomed 
the breakdown on Wednesday of talks on an international protocol on trade 
and use of live genetically modified organisms (GMOs). According to the 
European biotechnology industry association EuropaBio, the biosafety 
protocol was so deeply flawed that "it's better to have no protocol". 
Paul Muys of the association said that the biotechnology industry would 
welcome "a protocol that proved we are serious about maintaining 
biodiversity," but that the current proposal would in fact mean "more red 
tape and bureaucracy". EuropaBio and other industry groups particularly 
object to the demands of some countries that the biosafety protocol 
should be given a scope wide enough to cover agricultural commodities, 
such as soya and oilseed rape. For several of these genetically modified 
varieties are beginning to appear on the market. The international Grain 
and Feed Trade Association (Gafta) backed EuropaBio's position on this 
today, saying that it did not want a protocol that "gives unnecessary 
disruption to trade". EuropaBio also attacked a proposal for the 
biosafety protocol to include a requirement for importing countries to be 
informed by exporters before any individual shipment of GMOs covered by 
the instrument. This would be "madness," said Mr Muys. EuropaBio and its 
sister organisation in the USA are also unhappy with a proposed framework 
of legal liability under discussion. 

Contacts: EuropaBio
http://www.europa-bio.be/
tel: +32 2 735 03

Gafta
http://www.gafta.com/
tel: +44 171 814 9666

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-| Hartmut Meyer
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-| GENET
-| The European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering
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