Seed World

U.S. Ag Groups Urge EU Commission to Make Timely Decisions

Earlier this month, 13 agricultural organizations signed and sent a letter to the European Commission asking leaders to make timely regulatory decisions regarding requests for approval of 13 new biotechnology products.
The letter states: “All of these products (soy, maize, rapeseed, cotton) have received positive European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) scientific assessments and have been considered by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health and the Appeals Committee. The majority of these product applications were ready for adoption by the College of Commissioners last summer but, unfortunately, the outgoing College failed to act before its term expired.”

The U.S. agricultural groups, which include the likes of American Seed Trade Association, American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association, U.S. Canola Association and others, note that the length of time taken for EU decisions on new biotech crops has increased in recent years.
“The approval process for import files now appears to have come to a complete stop,” the authors write, noting that the last import authorizations were issued by the European Commission in November 2013. The letter cites that the uncertainty and undue delays that has resulted from the Commissions inaction is creating unnecessary costs for producers and those in the supply chain.

The U.S. agricultural groups also acknowledge President Jean-Claude Juncker’s move to conduct a Review of the EU’s biotech approval procedure during the first six months of the Commission’s mandate. In the letter, signatories “urge the Commission to ensure that EFSA’s scientific opinions continue to serve as the basis for EU approvals, and to use the review to enable timely and predictable processing of approvals.”
To read the letter in its entirety, visit