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Brussels, 28 October 2002

European and US consumer groups meet to discuss food safety, GMOs, access to medicines and more

David Byrne, the European Commissioner responsible for Health and Consumer Protection today issued a message of support to the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) ahead of its 5th annual meeting. The TACD is a forum of US and EU consumer organisations, which develops and agrees policy recommendations to the European Commission and US Government, and which promotes consumer interests in EU and US policy making. The TACD will be meeting in Washington DC on 29 and 30 October with EU and US government officials.

David Byrne said: "Bringing together non-governmental organisations from both sides of the Atlantic to discuss consumer policy issues enriches EU-US co-operation. The Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue provides a vital 'reality check' for politicians and officials involved in EU / US relations. I would like to express my whole hearted support for the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue. I look forward to seeing the results of the meeting."

The TACD 5th annual meeting will take place on 29 and 30 October at the US State Department in Washington DC. Priority issues to be discussed include World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations, in particular trade in services and access to medicines, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics in animal and food production, e-commerce and consumer protection, EU-US regulatory cooperation and transparency. The TACD will be producing a Report Card assessing the impact the dialogue is having on the policies of the Commission and the US Government.

The meeting will be attended by about seventy consumer representatives from the US and the European Union. European participants include representatives from both EU level and national consumer organisations.

The TACD was launched in Washington in September 1998, within the context of the New Transatlantic Agenda (NTA). The TACD meetings take place once a year, alternately in the US and the EU. The Commission provides financial support to the Dialogue. Further information on the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue can be found at:

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