Soybean growers in the U.S. are calling on the European Union to approve 13 new biotechnology products for importation. This news release from the American Soybean Association (ASA) says the group, along with other U.S. farm organizations, sent a letter to European Health & Food Safety Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, urging the EU to approve the products, including soybeans, corn, canola and cotton, some that have been waiting approval for more than a year.
“All of these products have received positive European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) scientific assessments and have been considered by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health and the Appeals Committee,” wrote the groups. “Timely action by the European Commission will avoid the risk of disruption to the essential supply of feedstocks needed by the EU’s livestock, poultry and feed industries, which are more than 70 percent dependent on imported protein.” The last import authorizations for new biotech crops were issued by the European Commission in November 2013.
Noting the existing queue of 57 import files currently in the EU system, ASA and its fellow groups reminded Commissioner Andriukaitis of a commitment by EU President Jean-Claude Juncker to complete a comprehensive review of the EU’s biotech approval procedure in six months, and urged the Commission to ensure that EFSA’s scientific opinions continue to serve as the basis for EU approvals.
The farm groups also reminded the Commission that it has certain EU’s obligations under the World Trade Organization in regard to timelier biotech deregulation decisions.