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US Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, the top Democrat on the committee, told US Trade Representative Robert Zoellick that they were concerned about delays in challenging European Union bans on genetically modified organisms before the World Trade Organization (WTO).

The senators said that the delay was costing American farmers hundreds of millions of dollars in lost sales of corn, soybeans, and other crops.

``EU policies also create a chilling effect on the approval and sale of biotech products around the world, especially in developing countries that fear that if they start using biotech crops, they'll lose the ability to sell in the European market,'' Grassley said, according to a report from the Associated Press .

While several months ago Zoellick called the EU ban on GMOs “immoral,” the Bush administration seems to have been backing off any confrontation over the issue lately because it has been tussling with EU nations over a possible invasion of Iraq. Zoellick said he was trying to build a coalition of other countries that to support the US case.

The EU has said the moratorium will remain in place at least until October.
KC's View:
Somehow, compared with the Iraq situation and the war on terrorism, GMOs just don’t seem all that important.