After the sixth round of talks in the bilateral Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership between the U.S. and the European Union, negotiations appear to be moving forward.
However, sanitary and phytosanitary measures - that is, human and plant health issues and more specifically biotechnology - remain a sticking point.
Incoming President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, says he intends to review legislation regarding the authorization of GMO's; he does not feel the Commission should be legally forced to authorize new organisms for import and processing when a majority of member states oppose them.
Since last November, the European Commission has remained silent on eight pending biotech authorizations, prompting a letter from the International Maize Alliance or MAIZALL.
That letter, addressed to officials within the European Commission, suggested reticence on biotech authorization would increase costs for both European farmers and consumers.