EU agchem/GMO rules hinder farmers in US/EU trade deal
A possible free-trade deal between the EU and US may place European farmers at a competitive disadvantage due to the EU’s “constraints” on the use of genetically modified crops and pesticides, concludes a new study. If trade is liberalised without “regulatory convergence”, farmers face extra costs in complying with the EU’s stricter rules. Alternatively, the talks could present an opportunity to resolve long-term disagreements, such as the EU’s slow GMO approvals and low tolerance thresholds for traces of GM material in imports, the authors say. The talks started in 2013, but the EU refuses to relax its food safety standards (Agrow No 658, p 11). The study, from the European Commission’s Internal Policy Directorate-General, looks at the impact on the EU agri-food sector. It was presented to the European Parliament’s Agriculture Committee in September.