Ag Groups Urge EU to Approve Biotech Events

Cindy Zimmerman

eu-flagNearly 20 agricultural organizations signed on to letters sent this week to the European Commission and the U.S. Trade Representative urging that the European Union (EU) take action in September on nine biotech events that have received positive safety reviews and are awaiting final import authorization.

There are currently nine products, including four soybean products, which have already received positive European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) opinions and completed the subsequent review process, but are still awaiting final authorization for import for food and feed use from the EU’s College of Commissioners.

In a letter to United States Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman, the groups encouraged the Administration to contact EU Commission President Barroso to ensure action on the pending events in September and to ask the EU to respect its obligations under the World Trade Organization (WTO) to make timely regulatory decisions on new biotechnology applications.

In a letter to the EU Commission, the groups stated that “the time required for EU decisions on new biotech crops has only lengthened in recent years and no authorizations have been issued since November 2013. Some of the products have been before the European Commission since the end of 2013 and were submitted to EFSA more than five years ago.

The letters were signed by groups including the American Soybean Association, American Farm Bureau Federation, American Seed Trade Association, National Corn Growers Association, and the U.S. Grains Council.

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