August 07,2003

Grassley Praises Decision to Advance U.S. Case Against E.U. Biotech Ban


To: Reporters and Editors
Re: U.S. challenge of E.U. restriction on biotech products
Da: Thursday, Aug. 7, 2003

Today United States Trade Representative Robert Zoellick and Agriculture Secretary AnnVeneman announced the United States is requesting a World Trade Organization dispute panel to ruleon whether the European Union's moratorium on the approval of agricultural biotechnology productsviolates international trading rules. Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance,worked for months to urge the United States to challenge the E.U.'s biotech policies. Earlier thisyear, Grassley convened a meeting of top administration officials and wrote strongly worded lettersto encourage a case. Grassley made the following comment on the announcement.

"This is a good day for America's farmers. I've been beating this drum a long time, and my messags e is clear. Iowa's farmers are being hurt by the European Union's biotech policies, and the Administration needs to stand up and fight for America’s farmers. It’s appropriate for the United States to aggressively enforce its WTO rights. I'm glad the case is moving forward not just for American farmers, but also as biotech products hold great promise for reducing hunger in the developing world. The lifting of the E.U.’s unscientific moratorium would help reduce unwarranted concerns about biotech in developing countries.”