Biotech businesses face fall-out from rows over modified soya, maize

The biotechnology industry is witnessing a fragmentation of policy towards genetically modified (GM) products across Europe in the wake of last year's clumsy effort by Monsanto to push GM soya onto the European market and the politically controversial EC decision to authorise marketing of Ciba-Geigy's GM maize. In February, Luxembourg joined Austria in banning imports of Ciba's maize, while France - which had supported Ciba's original application - banned commercial planting of the product and announced that all foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) must be labelled. Italy has also banned planting of the maize. Interim labelling guidelines are being drafted by the European Commission in a bid to maintain some consistency across the EC.

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