Industry News

Members of EU Farming Community Urge Commission to Approve Eight GMOs

October 21, 2014

    The European Commission has not approved eight genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that would allow a major shipment of grain to be delivered to the European Union (EU) from the US in about three weeks.  Members of the agriculture community hope that in the final weeks of the current Commission’s term, they will be able to take on the controversial topic.  If the Commission does not rule on the issue, the GMO products will be turned away or destroyed upon arrival, which would force farmers to find other, more expensive alternatives to the US GMO crop.  According to an October 17 press release from members of the EU agricultural community, if the GMO products are not approved, “EU food and feed business operators [will be] exposed to a possible risk of disruptions in the vital supply of soybeans, maize and various protein-rich products derived thereof.”  They fear that the “market balance” will be negatively impacted and prices will rise for staple food products, while also impacting the “competitiveness of the EU food, feed and livestock sectors.”

    The statement from the EU farm groups reported that 78% of vegetables and proteins are imported from abroad.  In addition, the EU is also facing difficulties with the embargos placed on Russian products.  The decision is vital because the EU has rigorous restrictions regarding GMO products.  If a GMO product has not been approved, the EU will only allow shipments containing a maximum of 0.1% of the non-approved products if there is an authorization pending.  Additionally, the industry is concerned that Incoming European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will delay the decision, since he has stated that he wants to review the GMO policy.

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