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6-Regulation: Can Bulgaria force the EU to accept GE food?



*-------------------------------------------------------------------------*
   " 'Right now it is difficult for us to get the EU to accept our
    products that have been enhanced in any way,' Schmidt said. 'If
    Bulgaria does it, then the EU will have to accept our stuff.' [...]
    'Bulgaria does not have any commercialized biotech crops, just test
    plots of (biotech) corn, and its current legislation is even more
    strict than the EU's,' according to the issues paper given to
    committee members. 'We expect that their parliament will pass
    legislation this year that will provide a better framework for
    commercialization of biotech crops. Both Dupont Pioneer and Monsanto
    have biotech products prepared for the Bulgarian market.' "
*-------------------------------------------------------------------------*



------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  US Agri Committee met with leaders in Bulgaria
SOURCE: The Community Press, USA, by Michelle Shaw
        posted by Checkbiotech, Switzerland
        http://www.checkbiotech.org/root/index.cfm?
fuseaction=newsletter&topic_id=5&subtopic_id=25&doc_id=12254
DATE:   15 Feb 2006

------------------ archive:  http://www.genet-info.org/ ------------------


US Agri Committee met with leaders in Bulgaria

What could have been just a regular fuel stop turned out to be much more
productive for members of the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on
Agriculture.

Jean Schmidt (R-2nd District) and five other members of the committee met
with leaders in Bulgaria at the onset of their fact-finding mission to
Iraq and Afghanistan, that began Jan. 9.

Committee Chair Bob Goodlatte (R-Va) had strategic reasons for choosing
Bulgaria as a layover point on what Schmidt defined as a truly "working trip."

"The two common themes of the entire trip, starting in Bulgaria, were
agriculture and the spirit of the people there and their ability to speak
freely," Schmidt said.

This was not only a first for the agriculture committee, but also was the
largest U.S. delegation to meet with Bulgarian leaders, including
Minister of Agriculture and Forest Nihat Kabil.

The meeting was an opportunity for members to build off the framework
laid by U.S. Trade Rep. Rob Portman by showing an interest in helping the
country in its agricultural production. It's a critical time, as
Bulgaria's induction into the European Union (EU) is scheduled for
January 2007, Schmidt said.

"Right now it is difficult for us to get the EU to accept our products
that have been enhanced in any way," Schmidt said. "If Bulgaria does it,
then the EU will have to accept our stuff."

In 2003, the United States filed a complaint with the World Trade
Organization because of concerns with the EU's de facto ban on
genetically modified products.

"(The EU) say(s) it's because of a desire for purity of the products,"
Schmidt said. "On the other hand, some think it is because of (the U.S.
has) ability to mass produce."

Unlike the EU, Bulgaria is not opposed to agro-biotechnology, Schmidt
said, but current legislation in the country will have to be changed
prior to developing a biotech program.

"Bulgaria does not have any commercialized biotech crops, just test plots
of (biotech) corn, and its current legislation is even more strict than
the EU's," according to the issues paper given to committee members. "We
expect that their parliament will pass legislation this year that will
provide a better framework for commercialization of biotech crops. Both
Dupont Pioneer and Monsanto have biotech products prepared for the
Bulgarian market."

The U.S. hopes Bulgaria will be on the same page when it comes to
genetically modified agriculture, its move into the EU would also create
a market that is more friendly to the U.S. product.

"(Bulgarian leaders) didn't say 'no,' and they didn't say 'yes,'" Schmidt
said.

While the meeting mainly focused on different aspects of trade and trade
agreements with the perspective of Bulgaria's upcoming EU membership, it
also looked into the avian flu, which has become a major concern for the
country.

"They are scared to death of the bird flu," Schmidt said. "They are
scared with a genuine concern."

Bordering countries Turkey and Romania already have seen outbreaks of the
flu and it is expected to move into Bulgaria by April or May.




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