OXFORD - Proponents of biotech foods probably can't expect an easier time under the new European Commission. The newly announced team, to replace the executive that resigned en masse in March following allegations of nepotism and corruption, will be vetted by Members of the European Parliament in confirmation hearings that begin this week.

Following the European Parliamentary elections in June, which saw a swing to the center right, MEPs may challenge the nominees who have been proposed by the predominantly center left member states and allocated portfolios by Commission President Romano Prodi. However, while the MEPs can suggest that the nominees rethink their positions, they don't have the power to dismiss anyone.