The European Commission (EC) is moving to end its unofficial 18-month moratorium on genetically modified (GM) foods, according to the British medical journal The Lancet. The EC acknowledges that these foods do not pose a serious threat to public health and plans to expedite approvals of them as early as the end of the year. However, the EC does plan to tighten labeling requirements and traceability mechanisms for GM crops before lifting the de facto moratorium.
David Byrne, European commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, said there is no evidence indicating that GM foods threaten health. "There are no guarantees in life. Right around the world, the scientific evidence is that there is no problem with GMOs over and above any other food," he stated. "Our approval system is strictly science based. Consumers should be assured and informed that we are paying attention to all questions they have raised."