Sen. Chuck Grassley: EU hostility to biotech, conventional agriculture shouldn’t be allowed to ‘scuttle’ trade talks with US

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U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, waves as he drives a tractor in the WHO Radio Great Iowa Tractor Ride, Tuesday, June 29, 2004. Image Credit: AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall

When trade representatives visit me to discuss biotechnology products, often the first thing I do is eat a genetically modified kernel of corn from my farm in New Hartford, Iowa, to show that American biotechnology products are safe for consumers. In Europe, this wouldn’t be possible. As a WTO panel found, the EU unduly delays approvals for U.S. agricultural biotechnology. Remarkably, the delays take place even after EU scientists conclude the products at issue are safe. As trade discussions between the U.S. and the EU move forward, European trade representatives must come to the table on agriculture.

European leaders continually claim that their consumers don’t want biotechnology products. With no concrete scientific evidence to support their claims about safety, the EU is simply denying consumers the right to decide what products they want to buy for their families. But biotechnology isn’t the only problematic issue.

Related article:  Viewpoint: Gene editing poised to revolutionize agriculture—if we can fix biotech regulations

The EU has blocked the importation of U.S. chickens since 1997 because they are treated with antimicrobial baths. However, the EU allows the importation and sale of vegetables that have undergone the same treatment. This double standard doesn’t make sense to me ….

Read full, original article: Will corn, chicken and champagne scuttle a U.S.-EU trade deal?

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