(Posted Wed. May 8th, 2013)
May 8: Today, the National Corn Growers Association expressed appreciation to Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) for co-authoring a letter to USDA Secretary Vilsack and USTR Acting Ambassador Marantis addressing international regulatory challenges for agricultural products derived from biotechnology. Biotech varieties accounted for 88 percent of corn planted in 2012. As the world’s leading exporter of corn, NCGA strongly supports efforts to ensure the uninterrupted flow of corn and corn co-products in the international marketplace.
The letter identifies regulatory asynchrony, zero tolerance policies and re-registration requirements as costly regulatory barriers. It also acknowledges efforts currently underway by USDA and USTR to engage trading partners on these issues.
“Biotechnology is a critical tool for farmers to help manage pressure from weather, pests and weeds,” said NCGA President Pam Johnson, a farmer from Floyd, Iowa. “We need to elevate the conversation on barriers to biotech with all of our trading partners.”
“Improving regulatory predictability will allow farmers to have access to new technologies more quickly and reduce risk for exporters in the international marketplace,” said NCGA Trade Policy and Biotechnology Action Team Chair Jim Zimmerman, a farmer from Rosendale, Wisc.
The letter was also signed by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Bob Casey (D-PA), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Dan Coats (R-IN), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Joe Donnelley (D-IN), Al Franken (D-MN), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Tim Johnson (D-SD), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Pat Roberts(R-KS), John Thune (R-SD), and Mark Udall (D-CO).
To read the letter, click here.