Soy Farmers Lead Response to EU OptOut on Biotech Crops

first_imgASA organized a meeting between the U.S. Biotech Crops Alliance, the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials on April 9 to discuss the recent proposal by the European Union (EU) Commission to allow Member States to individually “opt-out” of importing and using biotech crops that are approved by the European Food Safety Agency.While the College of Commissioners won’t act on the proposal until later this month, its approval would jeopardize access for U.S. soybeans and soymeal to EU markets, since biotech varieties comprise over 93 percent of U.S. production.  If approved, it is not clear how long the implementation period would be, or how many Member States would exercise the option to exclude biotech crops.  At USTR’s request, ASA is working with the U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) and other farm organizations to assess the impact the proposal would have on EU imports from the U.S. and other exporting countries.  It is clear that, if the proposal goes forward, it would undermine the EU’s original premise as a “common market,” and could violate its World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments.last_img read more