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12 March 2014
Europe's fear of U.S. hormone meat, GM food sows divide in trade talks
(Reuters) - Europe's reluctance to buy hormone meat or genetically modified food from the United States has exposed an "enormous gulf" that threatens the world's biggest trade pact, industry and labour groups told EU and U.S. negotiators on Wednesday.
Eight months into talks to create a transatlantic pact encompassing almost half the world's economy, divisions remain over opening up to each others goods, rules governing the names of foods and genetically modified food.
"There is an enormous gulf between the EU and U.S. positions," said Michael Dolan, a lobbyist for the U.S. Teamsters union, who rejected the idea that the European Union should be the only market to call Greek-style cheese 'feta'.
He warned that a trade deal "is likely to be smaller, more modest than its ambitions, because of so many intractable issues," telling negotiators in a forum also open to reporters.
Tensions over food, which have bedeviled many trade talks around the world, risk eroding already fragile public support for a deal that proponents say would increase economic growth by around $100 billion a year on both sides of the Atlantic.
Negotiators aim to finalize a deal by the end of this year.
Read the full report.