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Agricultural Trade Squeals

by 5m Editor
29 February 2008, at 10:52am

GLOBE - European Union officials adamantly refuse to let the World Trade Organization save them from themselves.

Despite a 2005 WTO ruling that some European countries were breaking international trade rules by prohibiting the importation of gene-spliced, or "genetically modified (GM)," crops and foods, Europe remains recalcitrant, unrepentant — and on the verge of slaughtering its own livestock industry.

European Union agriculture ministers failed yet again Monday to permit imports of five biotech crops intended for animal feed, causing a group that represents European farmers to warn that without greater use of gene-spliced crops, the livestock industry could be decimated.

European shortages of grain for animal feed and soaring prices — caused by both the rejection of gene-spliced grains and the diversion of corn to production of ethanol for fuel — are causing panic among livestock producers. Pig and poultry farmers have been forced to reduce their output, while consumer consumption is down because of higher prices.

Although the WTO bluntly scolded the EU for imposing a moratorium on gene-spliced crop approvals from 1998 to 2004, that finding was a foregone conclusion. European politicians, including then-EU Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstroem, had acknowledged that the moratorium was "an illegal, illogical, and otherwise arbitrary line in the sand."

Source: TheWashingtonTimes

5m Editor