The European Parliament voted yesterday to establish strict rules on the production and marketing of genetically modified foods and pharmaceuticals. Under the rules, companies will have to apply for 10-year licenses to sell genetically modified products and all products will be tracked in a public database marking the locations of crops. A separate bill laying out details about labeling and tracking requirements is expected to pass in the spring. The 15 countries in the European Union now have 18 months to make their laws match the new rules, after which point a three-year-old moratorium on licensing genetically engineered products is likely to be lifted.

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