From: The Campaign [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
February 10, 2006
The World Trade Organization (WTO) ruled on Tuesday in the case the United States filed against the European Union over genetically engineered foods.
The WTO ruled against the European Union (EU) and in favor of the United States. (Canada and Argentina also joined the U.S. in this case against the
The WTO case filed in May 2003 was about the EU's ban on the import of genetically engineered foods and crops that was in effect from 1998 to 2004.
Since the EU removed the ban on importing genetically modified foods in 2004, you might have thought that the United States would have dropped the
case since it was no longer an issue. However, insiders speculate the U.S. continued with the WTO case for two significant reasons:
1) The U.S. can use this ruling to threaten other nations to not attempt to block imports of genetically engineered crops into their countries.
2) The U.S. can now file a second WTO case against the EU charging that their labeling requirements for genetically engineered foods are an unfair
restriction of trade.
THE STAGE IS SET TO ATTACK LABELING NEXT
QUESTION: Will the United States now move forward in an attempt to say the European Union countries cannot require the labeling of genetically
ANSWER: A case against the EU requirement on labeling biotech foods is highly likely for several reasons when you consider the following facts.
The Bush administration is in office for three more years. That is more than enough time for a WTO ruling.
Bush's Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Johanns, was recently quoted as saying, "We must use the WTO to force open markets for U.S. products."
Johanns has also stated, "The continuing adoption of agricultural biotechnology worldwide is evidence it provides tremendous benefits to farmers and rural communities."
The new chief agriculture negotiator for the U.S. Trade Representative is Richard Crowder, a 15-year veteran of Dekalb Genetics Corporation (now part
of Monsanto). He was also a former executive at ConAgra and president of the American Seed Trade Association.
After the WTO ruling, American Farm Bureau trade specialist Michelle Gorman stated, "Even if we remove the moratorium and we have an approval process for biotech products, we've still got a system in place which discriminates against biotech products in the European union market place. So the next step is to take a case on yet more EU biotech regulations."
With this win under their belt, it is quite likely that the Bush administration will now move forward with a WTO case stating that the European Union countries cannot require labeling on genetically engineered foods.
THE BOTTOM LINE...
With this WTO ruling now a reality, concerned citizens in the United States and Canada need to become more active than ever in the effort to get
legislation passed to require the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods.
The Campaign will be increasing pressure on Representative Kucinich to get the "Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act" sponsored before the U.S. House of Representatives as soon as possible.
JOINT INTERNATIONAL GM OPPOSITION DAY - APRIL 8TH
Since we heard several months ago from insiders that the WTO ruling would favor the U.S. biotech industry, plans were started to have a "Joint
International GM Opposition Day" on April 8th.
Here in the United States, we are planning a "National Call-In Day" to the U.S. Congress on April 6th and a "National Write-In Day" on April 8th.
A major conference and media event will be held in Chicago during this time called the BioETHICS Conference. The Campaign is actively involved in the planning of this conference.
The upcoming edition of The Campaign Reporter will discuss these events in further detail.
Posted below are four articles about the WTO ruling.
The first article from the Washington Post is titled "WTO Ruling Backs Biotech Crops." The second article from UPI is titled "WTO rules against EU
on GMOs." The third article from Inter Press Service News Agency is titled "WTO Biotech Ruling Reveals Special Interests, Say Critics." The fourth
article from Reuters is tilted "US may press Africa on GMOs."
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