February 07,2006

Baucus Welcomes Reports of WTO Decision on EU’S Genetically Modified Organisms Moratorium

Senator anticipates resuming trade with vital market

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Ranking Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, today welcomed press reports that a World Trade Organization (WTO) dispute settlement panel had declared the European Union’s six-year-old moratorium on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) illegal. Such a decision would be a key step toward resuming trade in a critical export market valued at several hundred million dollars annually. Baucus released the following statement upon reports of the WTO ruling:

“Sound science – not unfounded speculation – must form the basis of trade in agriculture. Reports that a WTO panel today struck down the EU’s scientifically-suspect ban on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are good news indeed. I urge the EU to comply with WTO rules and open its market to quality U.S. agricultural exports without delay.

“Between high tariffs, questionable regulations and outright moratoria, the European Union has effectively closed its market to our most competitive agricultural exports. This decision is an important step toward opening the European markets to American farmers.

“I would like to congratulate the efforts of the United States Trade Representative in successfully prosecuting this dispute. This is a good example of how vigorous enforcement can yield important results.”

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