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APPROVAL: EU Ag Commissioner impressed by U.S. farm size, wishes tospeed up GE crop approvals



------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------
TITLE:  European Ag Commissioner impressed by farm size
SOURCE: Brownfield, USA
AUTHOR: Tom Steever
URL:    http://www.brownfieldnetwork.com/gestalt/go.cfm?
objectid=7D01D8AF-E58A-5CA6-56D8B9D2261BD677
DATE:   11.05.2007
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European Ag Commissioner impressed by farm size


...........................................................................
AUDIO: Mariann Fischer Boel address to WAF (25:00 MP3)
http://www.brownfieldnetwork.com/podcast/feed/81383644-B4EA-
E04B-1002BB7F918AC33D/article/7D01D8AF-E58A-5CA6-56D8B9D2261BD677/audio/
7D01D91D-E228-7F63-96EED5E8E5FB563F/070509MariannFBoelAddressSm.mp3

AUDIO: Interview w/Mariann Fischer Boel (4:00 MP3)
http://www.brownfieldnetwork.com/podcast/feed/81383644-B4EA-
E04B-1002BB7F918AC33D/article/7D01D8AF-E58A-5CA6-56D8B9D2261BD677/audio/
7D0417B5-926B-854B-691610ED1A0964F9/070509MariannFischerBoelInt.mp3
...........................................................................


There are signs of the European Union loosening its stance on accepting
products originating from genetically enhanced crops. There are 11
genetically enhanced products that have been approved by the EU and 14
more that are in the approval pipeline, according to Mariann Fischer
Boel, Agriculture Commissioner of the EU. Further concessions may have
to be made to get the products the EU needs, says Fischer Boel.

"I think that we have to review very seriously the speed with which we
approve new (genetically modified products)," said Fischer Boel in
response to questions following her address to the World Agriculture
Forum this week in St. Louis, "otherwise we might face a situation where
there will be no imports available."

Following her appearance at the World Agriculture Forum, Fischer Boel
was hosted on the Augusta, Missouri farm of Rick and Dean Rehmeier.

"She was very interested in our production systems and also how we
economically ran the farm," Rick Rehmeier told Brownfield after showing
the Agriculture Commissioner his family's swine and row crop operation.

Fischer Boel is impressed by how much bigger U.S. farms are than
European farms, which she says is a result of greater regulation of
European agriculture.

"In Europe we have very strict rules on how many animals you can have on
a farm, how many employees you need; you're not allowed to do whatever
you want when you build new stables," Fischer Boel told Brownfield after
seeing the Rehmeir farm, "so I think the freedom here to do what you
want might be bigger than in Europe."

Although the commissioner attempts to see farms wherever she travels,
this week's farm visit is likely to have little if any impact on trade
negotiations between the 27 member nations of the European Union and the
U.S., according to Fischer Boel.

"It's all a brick a my passel that will hopefully, at the end of the
day, show a very nice picture, but it doesn't influence directly the
decisions or the negotiations that we're going to have next week on the
outcome of the Doha Round," said Fischer Boel, referring to the
knowledge she gains from visiting farms, "but it confirms all the
impressions that I've got that American farmers are competitive."

Fischer Boel is not willing to commit about whether or not there will be
a successful completion to the latest round of World Trade Organization talks.

"By nature I'm a very optimistic person and I'm also extremely
realistic," she told Brownfield. "I think the reality is that we can't
afford to fail."


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