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6-Regulation: U.S. files WTO case against EU GMO moratorium -industry



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

TITLE:  EuropaBio urges rapid resolution of EU moratorium and WTO complaint
SOURCE: EuropaBio, Belgium, Press Statement
        www.europabio.org
DATE:   May 13, 2003

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EuropaBio urges rapid resolution of EU moratorium and WTO complaint

Brussels, 13 May 2002: EuropaBio (1) notes that four countries the United
States, Canada, Egypt and Argentina have filed a WTO case (2) over the
European Union's (EU) moratorium on approving agricultural biotechnology
products. Nine other countries have joined as third parties in support of
the case: Australia, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, New
Zealand, Peru and Uruguay. While it would have been preferable to resolve
this issue without WTO action, the EU biotech industry understands the
frustration of the EU's trading partners with some Member States which
continue to look for justifications not to permit the importation of safe
products of GM technology.

The EU biotech industry is also frustrated with the delays in
implementing EU rules however there is at least some progress being made.
The regulatory framework dealing with GM technology in the EU was
bolstered when Directive 2001/18 came into force in October of 2002,
updating the regulatory process of authorising and monitoring of GMOs but
it is inevitable that it will take some months before dossiers for
approval are reviewed and voted on. The forthcoming legislation on food,
feed, traceability and labelling is expected to be completed in a matter
of months and specifically aims to meet the moratorium countries'
requirements.

The EU biotechnology industry has worked constructively with the EU
institutions to develop a transparent and workable regulatory system for
the EU that can provide European citizens with confidence in approved
products. The system provides transparent and strict rules for GM
products for use in food, feed, and in agricultural production.

EuropaBio looks forward to an amicable resolution of the WTO consultation
based on the willingness of the Commission, the Parliament, and the
Member States to expedite finalisation of the EU legislative package and
the approval of new products. The industry requires workable legislation
which gives choice to all those in the food chain from grower to final
consumer.

EuropaBio believes that both farmers and consumers should have the right
to choose what crops they want to grow and which products they want to
buy. The de facto moratorium by some Member States reduces the choices of
other Member States who wish to use this technology. Governments need to
implement legislation effectively so as not to disadvantage European
farmers. This technology is being used by more than 5 million farmers
worldwide attesting to the technology's ability to respond to a need and
repeat purchases show that the technology meets farmer expectations.

Furthermore, the failure to approve products in Europe for the last five
years affects the development of this technology outside the EU,
including in developing countries, and impacts on the choices that these
countries are making as regards agricultural production and food security.

Plant biotechnology is one of the most important innovations in
agriculture in recent years, it can help farmers remain competitive and
provide the countryside with environmental benefits. If this technology
is cut off from farmers it will put them at a disadvantage compared to
other farmers in China, US, Canada, Argentina and many other parts of the
world. Companies and public institutes need a positive and dynamic
climate to encourage investment in the agricultural biotechnology sector,
which will help create growth and jobs, and reverse the downward trend in
plant biotechnology research in Europe.

For further information, please contact

Simon Barber, Director of the Plant Biotechnology Unit, EuropaBio
Tel: +32 2 735 0313
Mobile: +32 476 44 24 20

Notes to Editors

EuropaBio
EuropaBio, the European Association for Bioindustries, has 35 corporate
members operating worldwide and 21 national biotechnology associations
representing some 1200 small and medium sized enterprises involved in
research and development, testing, manufacturing and distribution of
biotechnology products.
www.europabio.org

USTR
Press release from the Office of the US Trade Representative, 
United States Department of Agriculture
http://www.ustr.gov/releases/2003/05/03-31.pdf


                                  PART II
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TITLE:  NFPA Supports U.S. WTO Case to End European Moratorium
SOURCE: National Food Processors Association, USA
        http://www.nfpa-food.org/News_Release/NFPAPressRelease051303WTO.htm
DATE:   May 13. 2003

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NFPA Supports U.S. WTO Case to End European Moratorium

( Washington , D.C. ) - The National Food Processors Association (NFPA)
has voiced its support for the decision by the United States , together
with Argentina , Canada , and Egypt , to file a case with the World Trade
Organization (WTO) to bring an end to the European Union's moratorium on
the approval of agricultural biotechnology products.

"There is no scientific justification for the EU's current moratorium,"
said Dr. Rhona Applebaum, NFPA's Executive Vice President and Chief
Science Officer. "It creates an unnecessary barrier to international
trade in foods and food products."

According to Dr. Applebaum, "Ending this moratorium will help U.S.
agricultural producers obtain simultaneous approvals for new
biotechnology products in both the United States and Europe . This has
been one of the biggest issues for U.S. growers and food companies who
are engaged in international food trade."

Dr. Applebaum stated "NFPA agrees with statements by U.S. Trade
Representative Robert Zoellick and U.S. Department of Agriculture
Secretary Ann Veneman that the EU's moratorium violates WTO rules, and
has perpetuated a trade barrier that is not supported by the EU's own
scientific analysis. In so doing, the moratorium has impeded the global
use of a technology that not only is safe, but also is of great benefit
to farmers and consumers around the world."

"It is NFPA's hope that, through the consultation process required in a
WTO case, scientific reason will rule, and negotiations on this issue
will lead to the end of the moratorium, avoiding a full-fledged lawsuit,"
Dr. Applebaum said. "We applaud the United States for moving forward with
this case, and for the strong efforts by USDA and the U.S. Trade
Representative to bring an end to the EU's moratorium and to the trade
barrier it has created."

###

The National Food Processors Association (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.

 Contacts:
Tim Willard (+1-202) 637-8060
Libby Mikesell (+1-202) 639-5919