February 07,2006

Grassley Praises WTO Ruling on Genetically Modified Crops


To: Reporters and Editors
Re: World Trade Organization ruling on genetically modified crops
Da: Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2006

Sen. Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Committee on Finance, with jurisdiction over international trade, today made the following comment in reaction to media reports that a World Trade Organization panel determined that the European Union and six member states broke trade rules by applying a moratorium to the approval of genetically modified crops and foods. In 2003, Grassley urged the United States Trade Representative to bring such a case.

“I haven’t seen the details, but based on media reports, this is good news for U.S. farmers, including corn producers in Iowa. For years, the European Union has blocked the entry of new agricultural biotechnology products into the European market while admitting that the blocked products are safe. That always struck me as a clear WTO violation, and I’m glad to see a ruling that upholds WTO obligations. Also, agricultural product safety decisions have to be based on sound science, not political science. The WTO exists to make that kind of distinction. This ruling is a victory for sound science over political science.”