Americas' pro-GM soybean growers lobby EU
A multinational soybean farmers’ union is lobbying EU officials in support of agricultural biotechnology in the EU. The farmers from the US, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, which form the International Soy Growers Alliance (ISGA), met EU food and feed chain representatives this month. The ISGA claims to represent growers that account for 90% of global soybean exports. “This has been a very important meeting for us,” vice chair of ISGA member United Soybean Board’s (USB) global opportunities programme Bob Metz says. “[The EU] only produces about 2% of its protein needs … so it has a great dependence on the rest of the world for soybeans.” The USB disseminates information about the safety of genetically modified soybeans to “decision makers”, it says. The Board complains that the EU “has a lengthy approval process on new biotech varieties, which has not only affected soy exports to these 27 member states, but also to other European countries as well as countries that trade with the EU”. The ISGA was formed in 2007.