GENET archive


6-Regulation: US House passes bill supporting WTO biotech case

genet-news mailing list

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

TITLE:  US House passes bill supporting WTO biotech case
SOURCE: Reuters
DATE:   June 10, 2003

------------------ archive: ------------------

US House passes bill supporting WTO biotech case

WASHINGTON, June 10 (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on
Tuesday overwhelmingly passed legislation expressing support for the Bush
administration's filing of a World Trade Organization complaint against
the EU's policy on approving new genetically modified products. The
symbolic measure, which will have no formal bearing on the WTO case, was
opposed by some House members who argued the United States should not
encourage the WTO to overturn any country's food safety laws. It was
approved on a vote of 339 to 80. Proponents of the legislation, including
House Speaker Dennis Hastert, a Republican from Illinois, said the WTO
complaint would help "end the European Union's protectionist and
discriminatory trade practices of the past five years regarding
agriculture biotechnology." But Rep. Sherrod Brown, an Ohio Democrat,
said the measure "goes to the fundamental issues of sovereignty and of
shifting power from democratically determined public health laws and
rules to corporate interests." Brown has been a vocal opponent of trade
legislation. U.S. corn farmers lose an estimated $300 million in sales to
the EU because European countries have blocked new biotech corn
varieties. Last month, the United States announced it intends to seek a
WTO ruling overturning the EU's moratorium on new biotech goods unless
there it quickly abandoned the policy.

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

SOURCE: National Corn Growers Association, USA, Press Release
        edited and sent by Agnet, Canada
DATE:   June 11, 2003

------------------ archive: ------------------


WASHINGTON -- The (NCGA) applauds the House of Representatives for
passing Tuesday H. Res. 252, supporting a case in the World Trade
Organization (WTO) against the European Union's (EU) moratorium on
biotechnology. The resolution passed 339-80. "The House sent a strong
message to the European Union," said Yoder. "Members of the House from
both sides of the aisle and from all regions of the country stood up for
farmers today by supporting H. Res. 252. We want to thank Majority Whip
(Roy) Blunt, and all those who voted for the legislation for their
continued hard work on behalf of American agriculture."

NCGA strongly supports a WTO case against the illegal moratorium, which
has locked out exports from the United States since 1998. According to
the Foreign Agriculture Service, U.S. corn exports have diminished in the
last five years from a high of 1.56 million metric tons to approximately
23,000 metric tons. It is estimated the moratorium has cost U.S. corn
exports $1 billion since its inception.

NCGA also expressed extreme disappointment in organizations that opposed
the legislation. "It is unfortunate when groups that purportedly
represent farmers argue against innovations that help farmers become more
profitable and better stewards of the land," said NCGA President Fred
Yoder. At the behest of Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), several groups led
a campaign to oppose the resolution.

"Unfortunately, these groups and their supporters are repeating the tired
rhetoric of the Europeans," continued Yoder. "Fortunately, Congress and
the American people are tuning them out. They recognize the great
opportunity of biotechnology, which allows us to do more with what we
have." H. Res. 252 was introduced by Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and
cosponsored by Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), Majority Leader Tom DeLay
(R-Texas), House Agriculture Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.),
Ranking Member Charlie Stenholm (D-Texas), Reps. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio)
and Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.).

The National Corn Growers Association mission is to create and increase
opportunities for corn growers in a changing world and to enhance corn's
profitability and usage. NCGA represents more than 32,000 members, 25
affiliated state corn grower organizations and hundreds of thousands of
growers who contribute to state checkoff programs.


European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering

Hartmut MEYER (Mr)
Kleine Wiese 6
D - 38116 Braunschweig

phone:  +49-531-5168746
fax:    +49-531-5168747
mobile: +49-162-1054755
email:  genetnl(at)