Goodlatte Praises Administration's Decision to Challenge the EU's Longstanding Moratorium on Agriculture Technology: Says WTO Case will ‘Send a message to the rest of the world that illegitimate, non-science based trade barriers will not be tolerated’

May 13, 2003

GOODLATTE PRAISES ADMINISTRATION’S DECISION TO CHALLENGE THE EU’S LONGSTANDING MORATORIUM ON AGRICULTURE BIOTECHNOLOGY
Says WTO Case will ‘Send a message to the rest of the world that illegitimate, non-science based trade barriers will not be tolerated’

Washington, D.C.- Following a meeting today in the U.S. Capitol, Agriculture Chairman Bob Goodlatte joined with House Speaker Dennis Hastert, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick, Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman and other House and Senate leaders in announcing that the U.S. will challenge the European Union’s longstanding moratorium on agriculture biotechnology in a World Trade Organization case.

“Today is a hopeful day for American agriculture,” Goodlatte said. “The end of the European Union’s illegal and longstanding moratorium on agricultural biotechnology may be near. Agricultural biotechnology is one of the most promising developments in modern science. This science should be embraced and not banned, for it can help to provide answers to the problems of hunger around the world. It would be a shame if developing countries in Africa continue to deny food aid containing biotechnology because of the anti-biotechnology attitudes in Europe. The politicizing of agricultural biotechnology should end so that we can return to providing food aid to the hungry as soon as possible.”

This has long been an issue of concern for both Chairman Goodlatte and Speaker Hastert. Hastert testified before the House Agriculture Committee on the issue of biotechnology in a March 26 full Committee hearing. In January, Speaker Hastert joined with Chairman Goodlatte, and several other members of Congress in writing a letter to President Bush in support of the U.S. government taking a case against the EU to the World Trade Organization.

“We are not interested in making people eat what they don’t want to eat,” Goodlatte continued. “It is not the role of governments to deny consumers choice. The EU’s moratorium has denied European consumers the choice of this safe and affordable product. I commend the Bush Administration for taking this case to the World Trade Organization. A WTO case against the EU will send a message to the rest of the world that illegitimate, non-science based trade barriers will not be tolerated.”

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