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Food and grain companies are demanding permission for small amounts of genetically modified material to be allowed in EU markets.

Reuters reports that a six-strong group of food and feed manufacturers ? including main EU food and drink representative CIAA ? claim the EU's "zero tolerance" stance is damaging to the food and feed sectors.

A study by the group said the food sector was suffering from increasing costs and reliance on imports, and legal uncertainty.

Reuters reports that Europe's food safety head has promised to draft a proposal to allow less than one per cent of unauthorised GM material in foods such as rice and soya.

The EU forbids the accidental presence of unauthorised GM material approved in GM crop-growing countries such as the US.

This has led to rice and grain being impounded at EU ports, disrupting trade flows, according to the news agency.

Italian minister Adolfo Urso recently urged to EU to increase research on genetically modified organisms.

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