This week in Washington, John Block is reporting on the European Trade Agreement with the United States (TTIP) that is still in the process of negotiation. Should the agreement succeed in passing through both ends of the government, it will be considered an incredible win for agriculture. Recent changes in European legislation, however, are making the success of the agreement increasingly difficult.
Last month, two-thirds of the countries in the European Union(EU) filed applications to opt out of cultivating crops that have been genetically modified(GM). Should the applications be approved, farmers will not be allowed to grow GM crops, and there is a possibility that GM crops may not be legally imported into those countries. These applications were filed after the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) had certified the safety of GM crops and cleared them for cultivation in the EU.
GM crops have been in commercial use for 20 plus years, and boast an impeccable safety record thus far. They have been shown to boost farmers’ incomes, reduce consumer prices, and increase both crop yield and farming efficiency per acre. Last year, 28 countries around the world grew GM crops on over 181 million hectares, and they were grown by 18 million farmers. Globally, GM crops have increased yields by 22% and decreased pesticide use by 37%.
In his broadcast, Block reads a quote from an EU Report on GMO biosafety: “The main conclusion to be drawn from the efforts of more than 130 research projects, covering a period of more than 25 years of research, and involving more than 500 independent research groups, is that biotechnology and in particular GMOs, are not more risky than conventional plant breeding.”
Listen to the full Report here:
John Block Reports from Washington-European Trade Deal