EU defends pro-organic Farm-to-Fork plan against USDA criticism that it will boost global food prices

Credit: Food Governance
Credit: Food Governance

The EU Farm to Fork Strategy potentially sets up a long-term battle between the U.S. and Europe over farm practices, biotechnology, chemical use and sustainability measures that will spill over into trade.

European Union officials held a press web event Friday [November 13] with U.S. journalists to discuss the Farm to Fork Strategy, which has come under heavy criticism over the past several months from top officials at both USDA and the U.S. Trade Representative’s office. U.S. officials have described the plan as “anti-technology” and an attack on U.S. agriculture.

The Farm to Fork plan drives to reduce pesticide use by EU farmers by as much as 50% and reduce fertilizer use by 20%.

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Globally, if every country adopted a Farm to Fork plan, food would rise per-capita $450, with a $512 increase in prices in the U.S. ERS also forecasts that 185 million more people would become food insecure under the plan with the biggest impacts in Africa and parts of Asia.

Related article:  25 years of GM crops: Biotechnology a blessing to many farmers, but not without costs

The EU, though, also acknowledges within Europe that the plan is meant to change diets. Much like the U.S., the EU has problems with people who cannot afford healthy food while roughly 20% of food it wasted. Europe, much like the U.S., also has more than half of the adult population considered overweight. Part of the goal in the EU plan is to improve Europe’s dietary standards.

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