GENE ALTERED FOODS WILL REMAIN A LOSING PROPOSITION FOR U.S. FARMERS, DESPITE WTO DECISION
4 January 2006
A Joint Statement on the Forthcoming WTO Decision in the U.S.--E.U. Gene Food Dispute
In January 2006, the World Trade Organization (WTO) is expected to rule on a Bush Administration challenge to European rejection of genetically engineered (GE) food.
While the WTO is expected to rule in favor of the U.S., the case underlines the bankruptcy of current US policy, which is seeking to bully European markets into taking U.S. gene altered crops. Ultimately, European consumers cannot be forced to buy and eat food that they do not want.
In anticipation of this ruling, the undersigned U.S. organizations reject the Administration’s aggressive tactics in attempting to force-feed unwanted gene altered varieties to the rest of the world. We support global
regulations of these inadequately tested foods, mandatory labeling, and the right to restrict where GE crops are grown.
The current U.S. case against Europe at the WTO does not challenge present E.U. regulations on GE food, but only concerns Europe’s delay in granting approvals of new GE varieties, a “de facto moratorium” that Europe lifted in 2004. Regardless of the outcome of the case, European and worldwide refusal to buy GE foods from the U.S. will continue. We are concerned that regardless of the outcome at the WTO, American farmers are the big losers, since the Bush Administration’s arrogant stance on GE food is alienating many of our food trading partners.
The Administration claims that the E.U. delay in granting new GE crop approvals has resulted in lost markets for American farmers. But clearly consumers’ preference for non-GE food, and not regulatory issues, are the true engine of the market collapse for American crops. Even before the so-called European “moratorium” was enacted in late 1998, U.S. corn sales to Europe had dropped by more than half.
Full article: http://www.organicconsumers.org/ge/wto010406.cfm