During a recent meeting with WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo and other senior WTO officials in Geneva, MAIZALL organizations stressed the importance of synchronous biotech approvals from key trading partners like China.
MAIZALL represents corn groups from the three major corn exporting countries of Brazil, Argentina and U.S., along with the U.S. Grains Council. Together, the countries account for more than 70% of the world's exportable corn surplus.
At the meeting, MAIZALL President and U.S. Grains Council Past Chairman Julius Schaaf urged WTO to be part of the solution on biotechnology trade disruptions.
"To feed 9 billion people by 2050, and do it in the face of growing land, water and environmental constraints, producers need technology," he said. "But to keep advancing technology, we also need regulatory systems capable of proceeding in a timely, transparent and science based way.
"That's why we're here – to urge the WTO to be more engaged on asynchronous biotech approvals and their effects on global trade."
In the previous MAIZALL missions, including to China and the EU, USGC Chairman Ron Gray said it became clear that many people do not yet realize that biotech is a matter of common concern to all the MAIZALL countries.
"We have had some very useful conversations on strategies to elevate issues such as asynchronous approvals and low level presence to greater visibility in the WTO community," Gray commented. "Having Argentina and Brazil at the table with the United States clearly has a beneficial impact."
The team's next stop will be in Rome to meet with the Food and Agriculture Organization.
Continuing advances in agricultural technology, including biotechnology, are needed to achieve FAO's goal of global food security, the USGC said.
The group notes that a point of particular importance to the FAO is that biotechnology is a scale-neutral technology that can offer benefits to farmers of varying sizes, and achieve rural development objectives.
News source: USGC