Unusual frank pessimism has been voiced by diplomats about securing an agreement at the long-running World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks on creating a multilateral register for geographical indications on wines and spirits.

Officials have said that the supporters of legal powers protecting traditional terms, (led by the EU), "remain far apart" from those calling for a voluntary 'guidance' register, (headed by the US).

Indeed, in informal discussions, negotiators noted - unlike other recently restarted talks in the stalled Doha Development Round - the register negotiations had not even entered a "listening" phase. A new paper was proposed by Chile, but opposed on various points by the EU and its allies.