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July 2009



Biotechnology Industry Organization News Release Follows
The text of the July 15, 2009
Canada and European Communities End WTO Biotech Dispute; EU approval system for ag biotech products continues to be “broken”

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Wednesday, July 15, 2009) - Canada and the European Communities announced the end of a six-year World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute regarding the approval and marketing of biotechnology products.

Sharon Bomer Lauritsen, Executive Vice President, Food and Agriculture for the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), issued the following statement in response:

“While it is a good sign to see that Canadian canola growers have gained some access for their exports, the European Union’s approval system for agricultural biotechnology products continues to be broken. It is plagued by political interference, undue delay and member state prohibitions.

“There are now 70 products awaiting approvals – compared to 40 last year. There are no new cultivation approvals – in fact – France and Germany have imposed cultivation bans within the past two years. In addition, biotech corn is still not moving into the EU.

“This situation impedes U.S. trade, despite the well-documented safety of agricultural biotechnology which has produced real results towards increasing crop yields, reducing production inputs and enhancing environmental sustainability.

“The EU’s non-functioning biotech approval process has blocked U.S. agricultural exports to the detriment of American farmers and agribusiness, but also has prevented European farmers from benefiting from modern technologies that are used in 25 countries by 13.3 million farmers around the world.

“Trade problems will continue to exist until Europe has a science-based, timely and predictable approval process, which could be achieved if the EU simply followed its own laws and regulations.

“We urge the European Commission to normalize trade of products produced through biotechnology in a timely and science-based manner.”

Source: July 15, 2009 Canada Office of Foreign Affairs and International Trade News Release
July 15, 2009 European Commission News Release, titled "EU and Canada settle WTO case on Genetically Modified Organisms"

Web site: The July 15, 2009 Canada News Release is posted at

The July 15, 2009 EC News Release is posted at

A July 15, 2009 Statement by the Biotechnology Industry Organization, titled "Canada and European Communities End WTO Biotech Dispute; EU approval system for ag biotech products continues to be “broken” is posted at

A July 15, 2009 New York Times story on the settlement, titled "Canada Settles a Crop Trade Complaint Against Europe" is posted at

Contact: For questions about the Canada action, see the above Canada News Release

Questions about the BIO response may be directed to Contact Karen Batra at 202 449 6382; e-mail: <mailto:KBatra@BIO.org>KBatra@BIO.org 

Prepared by: This message was distributed by Jack Cooper, who may be reached at e-mail: <mailto:jlc@fien.com>jlc@fien.com or 301-384-8287