Home Indiana Agriculture News ASA Wants EU Pressured on Trade Restrictions

ASA Wants EU Pressured on Trade Restrictions

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The American Soybean Association says the European Union’s heavy-handed policies on biotech soybeans, as well as inaccurate characterization of biodiesel by the Renewable Energy Directive, have contributed to a 70 percent drop in total soybean export quantity and a 44 percent decrease in soybean export value to the EU over the last 14 years. That was the message sent to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk who wants to improve the nation’s trade relationship with the European Union as part of the recently-formed U.S.-EU High Level Working Group on Jobs and Growth.

According to ASA President Steve Wellman, a soybean farmer from Syracuse, Nebraska, – “As a direct result of more than a decade of discriminatory biotech traceability and labeling practices, America’s soybean producers have lost a significant portion of what was a viable and thriving export market.” Wellman added,  “With a Renewable Energy Directive that omits biodiesel based on inaccurate information and arbitrary standards, the remainder of that export market is threatened.”

In its comments, ASA points out that multiple EU policies hinder the importation and use of biotech crops from the United States, including delays in approvals of new biotech traits, despite positive assessments by the European Food Safety Authority; commercially infeasible requirements on biotech content in food products under EU Traceability and Labeling Regulations; state-by-state restrictions on biotech imports; and application of National Seed Catalog and Coexistence requirements to planting of biotech crops by certain EU member states.