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6-Regulation: U.S. food and soy industry on EU GE food and feedregulation



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                                  PART I
-------------------------------- GENET-news --------------------------------

TITLE:  ASA: Frustrated by EU Biotech Rules
SOURCE: AGWeb, USA, by Julianne Johnston
        http://www.agweb.com/news_show_news_article.asp?file=
        AgNewsArticle_2003731236_5012&articleid=99188&newscat=GN
DATE:   Jul 3, 2003

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ASA: Frustrated by EU Biotech Rules

The American Soybean Association (ASA) expressed frustration the European
Union (EU) has decided to adopt new regulations on mandatory traceability
and mandatory labeling of biotech or biotech-derived products that will
further restrict access for U.S. soybeans and soybean products while
negatively impacting EU consumers.

"It is a sad day for the world when European politicians decide they know
more than the scientific studies about food safety," said ASA First Vice
President Ron Heck. "These new rules are highly discriminatory and are so
commercially infeasible that food manufacturers wanting to market their
products in the EU will inevitably continue the trend to reformulate
their products to remove the biotech ingredients from their products
rather than be stigmatized by a biotech label."

More than seven years ago, governments in Europe and in more than 30
other countries evaluated and then declared that soybeans grown from
biotech-enhanced seeds are safe for human and animal consumption, and
safe for the environment as well. During all this time, literally
billions of people have eaten products that contain biotech soybean
ingredients. Scientific studies have repeated confirmed the safety of
these biotech soybean products. Now the EU intends to put labels on
products made from soybeans that will give consumers the false impression
that there is some increased risk associated with eating these products.

"The EU claims that these new rules will somehow restore consumer
confidence and allow consumers to choose what they eat," Heck said. "To
appreciate the hypocrisy in that statement, one only need understand that
major food manufacturers have already stated publicly that they will not
put 'GMO warning labels' on their products. How will these rules help
give European consumers a 'right to choose' when the products containing
biotech ingredients are eliminated from store shelves?

While the EU is discriminating against biotech products imported from the
United States and other countries, the same rules do not extend to
biotech processing aids, such as enzymes, amino acids, and vitamins
widely used in EU food production, says ASA. Nearly all the manufacturers
of these biotech processing aids are European companies.

"The EU is perpetrating a fraud on consumers," Heck said. "Just when
consumers think they can avoid a technology they don't understand, their
own food companies will be permitted to use all kinds of genetically
engineered materials in products like cheese and beer without any GMO
labeling requirements whatsoever."

Biotech-enhanced soybeans are widely planted in the United States,
Argentina and Brazil. Together, these three countries represent 90
percent of the world's soybean export trade. Compliance with the new
traceability regulations by exporters and food processors will be costly,
onerous, and unworkable given the realities of bulk commodity production,
marketing, transport, and food processing, says the group.

The new rules will require labeling for products such as soybean oil
"derived" from biotech soybeans even though no modified DNA or protein
can be detected in refined soybean oil. This is because it is impossible
to scientifically determine if such oil is of "biotech origin" or not.
ASA believes that such process-based labeling could lead to massive
fraud, and inevitably, again undermine public confidence in the EU food
regulatory system.

Many Europeans also claim to be concerned about the environment, yet
these new rules discriminate against biotech products that have allowed
farmers to reduce the amount of insecticides and pesticides applied to
their fields, and use of products that biodegrade more quickly. According
to the National Center for Food & Agriculture Policy, eight biotech
cultivars adopted by U.S. growers reduced pesticide use by 46 million
pounds in 2001.

Europeans also say they are concerned about conservation, yet these new
rules are jeopardizing farmer access to technologies that allow reduced
tillage practices in soybeans, which saved 247 million tons of
irreplaceable U.S. topsoil during 2000, and reduced the number of times
U.S. farmers had to run equipment over their fields, saving 234 million
gallons of fuel.

"Europeans say they are concerned about food safety yet they are allowing
activist groups to determine what they eat rather than listening to the
clinical evaluations from food safety experts," Heck said.

The EU has already replaced most of its biotech corn imports with
traditional varieties that are more susceptible to mycotoxins. Under
certain weather conditions, insect chewing damage in corn allows a fungus
to grow and produce small amounts of chemical compounds known as
mycotoxins. Such mycotoxins can be very detrimental to human and animal
health, but research has proven that Bt corn controls the chewing insects
so well that mycotoxin production is virtually eliminated in Bt corn fields.

Weed control is generally much more effective in biotech-enhanced crop
varieties, points out ASA. This greatly reduces the amount of foreign
plant materials and noxious weed seeds mixed in with the harvested crops,
they say.

"Europeans are being mislead into believing they will have a safer food
supply, when in fact, these new rules will lead to a dramatic decrease in
food safety," Heck said. "In the end, the EU's new rules will lead to
greater reliance on conventional and EU-grown crops, which means more
pesticide use, greater environmental impact, less conservation of topsoil
and fuel, and overall decreased food safety."


                                  PART II
-------------------------------- GENET-news --------------------------------

TITLE:  NFPA Says EU Labeling and Traceability Legislation "Would Create
        New Trade Barrier"
SOURCE: U.S. National Food Processors Association
        http://www.nfpa-food.org/News_Release/NFPAPressRelease070303.htm
DATE:   Jul 3, 2003

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NFPA Says EU Labeling and Traceability Legislation "Would Create New
Trade Barrier"

-- Requirements Would be "Onerous for Food Companies, While Providing No

Consumer Benefit," NFPA Warns

(Washington, D.C.) - In response to legislation passed on July 2 by the
European Parliament establishing expanded requirements for labeling foods
and feeds that contain genetically modified ingredients, Dr. Jeffrey
Barach, Vice President of Special Projects for the National Food
Processors Association (NFPA), made the following comments:

"This legislation is being promoted as necessary to end a five-year EU
moratorium on the introduction of new products of agricultural
biotechnology. However, it also creates new labeling requirements for all
foods and feeds sourced from genetically modified plants, as well as
labeling for non-biotech foods that contain more than 0.9. percent
genetically modified material. These new requirements will be burdensome
for food companies, and are likely to be seen as 'warning labels' by
European consumers. In essence, such labeling requirements ensure that
these products are unlikely to enter the European market, thereby
actually denying consumer access to the products of agricultural
biotechnology.

"The effect of such labels would be to create a new barrier to the
international trade in food and food products. The legislation also
places cumbersome and expensive requirements on growers, processors, and
importers of biotech foods to trace the source of the products or
ingredients they use.

"NFPA does not support 'process-based' labeling, such as that required in
the European Parliament's legislation. Mandatory labeling should be based
on the composition, intended use, and health and safety characteristics
of a food product, not on the 'genetic process' from which it was derived.

"While NFPA supports the European Parliament's stated intention of ending
the moratorium on approvals of biotechnology-derived products, these new
labeling and traceability requirements would be onerous for food
producers, while providing no safety benefits to consumers. We will urge
the EU to reconsider these new requirements, so that a new and onerous
barrier to trade is not established."

###

NFPA is the voice of the $500 billion food processing industry on
scientific and public policy issues involving food safety, food security,
nutrition, technical and regulatory matters and consumer affairs.

For more information on this issue, contact Timothy Willard, NFPA's Vice
President of Communications, at (202) 637-8060, or visit NFPA's Website
at w w w.nfpa-food.org.

Contact:
Timothy Willard (202/637-8060)
Libby Mikesell (202/639-5919)




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