Soybean farmers in the United States have joined forces with other soybean farmers in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay in supporting genetically modified soybeans in the European Union. Farmers from these countries represent 90 percent of the world’s soybean exports.
Farmers from these countries are meeting with members of the European Union food and feed chain and representatives of the EU government to stress the importance of biotechnology. Many EU countries have been reluctant to accept GM crops, and some countries have been stalwart against rejecting GM soybeans.
The farmers from the U.S. and South America have formed a group known as the International Soy Growers Alliance. The group has been discussing with EU officials how their reluctance to approve GM crops is creating trade disruptions based on nonscientific reasoning.
“We have delivered a very strong message as we stand together with our South American friends saying that the market is moving forward with biotech events, not only from the United States but from universities in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay as well,” said Bob Metz, soybean farmer from West Brown Valley, S.D., and vice chair of the United Soybean Board’s Global Opportunities program. “As these new traits come forward, the European Union really needs to find a way to accept these traits in a more timely fashion."