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BRUSSELS - A senior U.S. official told the European Union on Wednesday that it is "urgent" to end the EU's three-year-old ban on approvals of new genetically modified crops, Reuters reported.
"We have been deeply concerned for over three years at the halt of the approvals process -- something that to our way of thinking is contrary to the EU's own regulations," Alan Larson, U.S. Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs, said.
"It's something that has denied us any corn market in the EU for those same three years," he said.
Thirteen genetically modified varieties have been in regulatory limbo since 1998 when six EU governments, led by France, said they would not allow any new GMOs into the EU until rules on testing, labeling and tracing were put in place, according to Reuters.
Meantime, companies such as Monsanto and have been waiting for years to find out whether their new strains of modified maize, soy and cotton can be sold in the EU.
Larson said he was in Brussels "to find out first-hand what the state of affairs is and then we are going to make some decisions about how we can best move forward," Reuters reports.