Seed World

Harmonizing Seed Trade


Zero tolerance thresholds continue to plague trade, but solutions are on the horizon for food, feed and seed.

The pressure is mounting on the question of low level presence. “It is more and more important to seek harmonization all over the world and to work towards the adoption of a common approach in order to maintain the free trade of seed,” says Marcel Bruins, Executive Director of the International Seed Federation.

Exactly as predicted years ago, EU laboratories have found a series of trace amounts of biotech material in a range of crop shipments. Its impact on trade is significant and has left many in the ag industry pushing for a reassessment of the zero tolerance import policies. Multiple crops from many countries have been affected making this a global issue. Every country has to work with its own government to ensure progress is made.

“As the global seed leader in new research and development in the seed industry, we’ve got to continue to work with our government because they also interact with our trading partners to address new regulations for biotech products in different countries,” says Andy LaVigne, President and CEO of the American Seed Trade Association.

More GM Crops Coming
Several major trade disruptions took place last summer due to LLP and adventitious presence – soybeans or soy meal from the U.S., flax from Canada – and these issues are only a foreshadowing of the trade chaos that is due to follow a rapid increase in the number of GM crops, experts say. A rich pipeline of GM crops is emerging from countries that have previously produced little in the way of new research including China, Brazil and Argentina.

Currently, there are some 30 GM crop traits used worldwide. Within five years, there will be more than 120 such traits, according to a report issued by the Joint Research Centre, the European Union’s scientific research service.

“We’re going to see increased adoption of biotechnology products,” says LaVigne. “China has approved two products in their country in rice and corn, India has been looking at opportunities and there are food shortages throughout the world. Biotech varieties will help expedite dealing with those situations but we’ve got to make sure that there is a sound low level presence policy globally and it doesn’t impede trade.”

[readon1 url=”index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=45&Itemid=112″]To read more please subcribe.[/readon1]