Europe considers accelerated GMO import approval process to facilitate mini US trade deal

Brussels is ready to offer to speed up the approval process for genetically modified organisms imported into the EU, as part of a mini trade agreement with Washington.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen wants to strike such a deal with U.S. President Donald Trump by March 18.

POLITICO spoke with four diplomats and three EU officials who said that as part of the deal, the EU could commit to accelerating its system of checks and approvals for GMOs ….

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative stated in a report on EU trade barriers last year that “the lengthy EU approval process” for GMO crops of “on average 7.5 years” has caused U.S. farmers “an annual loss of approximately $2 billion per year.”

Related article:  CRISPR could save banana, major food source for 500 million people, from deadly disease, climate change

The Commission admits that this process can be accelerated …. According to one official who identified themselves as “a very interested bystander,” EU countries could give EFSA more money to hire more GMO experts.

“There might be a question of giving [EFSA] more resources or ensuring that they give [GMO approvals] more priority, even if that’s at the cost of priorities elsewhere,” the official said. “Perhaps they need more people in their gene assessment unit?”

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