If the United States kept its pre-1997 corn market share in Europe, sales to date would be 1.6 billion bushels higher and $3 billion more. That is according to the U.S. Grains Council.
The Council is now urging negotiators in the Trans Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or T-Tip, to address the European Union’s “precautionary principle,” which bars U.S. biotech from reaching the EU based on a purported lack of information.
Before biotech regulations in 1997, much the EU corn market was made up of American products. Today it is less than 10 percent.
The Council is also campaigning for more transparency in the approval process: a recent industry assessment from USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service estimates it takes about 48 months for a new genetically modified event to be approved for import in the EU for cultivation. Food or feed biotech can take around a year to be considered and only around 50 varieties are approved by EU’s register of genetically modified food and feed.