In a statement released to the news media, NCGA officials said they believe the new labeling requirements will cause a sharp reduction in U.S. agricultural exports and urges the United States Government and WTO to take immediate action.
Published in October, the EU regulations contain traceability requirements, labeling of food and feed products and safety assessments for food and feed produced through biotechnology. The EU regulations use the "Precautionary Principle" and other non-science based factors to assess food and feed imports.
"These regulations have nothing to do with human health or environmental safety, rather, they are an extension of the trade barriers we have been dealing with for a long time," said Leon Corzine, NCGA first vice president. "They simply discriminate against U.S. producers by targeting our products with severe scrutiny, despite the EU's inability to identify any science-based risks with biotechnology or U.S. commodities."
NCGA believes the labeling requirements may cause a sharp reduction in U.S. agricultural exports to the EU as food companies reformulate products to avoid the use of U.S.-origin commodities. Furthermore, countries that import U.S. grains for use in processed food product exports may reduce the use of U.S. grains to avoid EU regulatory difficulties.
Voicing deep concern Corzine said, "These regulations set a terrible precedent and clearly discriminate against imported vs. domestic products. We cannot allow the EU to cast doubt on the safety of our products around the world. The U.S. Government must act now to prevent further erosion of U.S. food and agricultural exports."
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