Soy Canada welcomes the European Commission’s decision to approve 10 new, innovative biotechnology products for food and seed use import, including four soybean events, that will be directly beneficial to Canadian soybean producers and industry.
Earlier today, the EU Commission announced the approval of 17 biotechnology products for food and feed use in the EU, including 10 new products and extension of authorizations on seven others. Approval of these new events was delayed while the Commission reviewed its authorization process for biotechnology crops.
While today’s news is welcome, Soy Canada, of which Grain Farmers of Ontario is a founding member, remains concerned with the direction of the EU’s crop biotechnology approval process. European approvals are often considerably delayed, especially for products with multiple events.
Earlier this week, Soy Canada expressed its disappointment in the European Commission’s proposal to allow individual member states to prohibit the import and use of food and feed derived from biotechnology that have been approved on the basis of rigorous scientific assessment.
Currently, authorization applies to all member states following a rigorous safety assessment conducted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), consistent with agreed international (CODEX) guidelines. In recent years, this process has resulted in significant delays in approvals but once approvals are granted, they apply to the entire European Community. Under the Commission’s new proposal, EFSA will still conduct science-based reviews but individual member states would be allowed to ignore the results and prohibit imports.