NFPA Supports U.S. WTO Case to End European Moratorium

Tim Willard (202) 637-8060
Libby Mikesell (202) 639-5919

( Washington , D.C. ) – The National Food Processors Association (NFPA) has voiced its support for the decision by the United States , together with Argentina , Canada , and Egypt , to file a case with the World Trade Organization (WTO) to bring an end to the European Union’s moratorium on the approval of agricultural biotechnology products.

“There is no scientific justification for the EU’s current moratorium,” said Dr. Rhona Applebaum, NFPA’s Executive Vice President and Chief Science Officer. “It creates an unnecessary barrier to international trade in foods and food products.”

According to Dr. Applebaum, “Ending this moratorium will help U.S. agricultural producers obtain simultaneous approvals for new biotechnology products in both the United States and Europe . This has been one of the biggest issues for U.S. growers and food companies who are engaged in international food trade.”

Dr. Applebaum stated “NFPA agrees with statements by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick and U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman that the EU’s moratorium violates WTO rules, and has perpetuated a trade barrier that is not supported by the EU’s own scientific analysis. In so doing, the moratorium has impeded the global use of a technology that not only is safe, but also is of great benefit to farmers and consumers around the world.”

“It is NFPA’s hope that, through the consultation process required in a WTO case, scientific reason will rule, and negotiations on this issue will lead to the end of the moratorium, avoiding a full-fledged lawsuit,” Dr. Applebaum said. “We applaud the United States for moving forward with this case, and for the strong efforts by USDA and the U.S. Trade Representative to bring an end to the EU’s moratorium and to the trade barrier it has created.”