(Posted Wed. May 30th, 2018)
America’s farmers’ access to biotechnology seeds has been impeded by regulatory delays in China, costing the overall U.S. economy both jobs and billions of dollars in economic output, according to a study released today by Informa’s Agribusiness Consulting Group in tandem with the Biotechnology Innovation Organization.
“This report further confirms something that we have already known: China’s biotech approval process has functioned in an unpredictable manner that compounds delays and has global ramifications,” said Don Duvall, a farmer from Illinois and Chair of the National Corn Growers Association’s Freedom to Operate Action Team . “For American agriculture to achieve its full potential, farmers need access to both the most cutting-edge technologies as well as to international markets.”
More timely biotech import approvals would benefit China, as well as ag exporters such as the United States, Argentina and Brazil, by increasing food security and decreasing food prices for Chinese consumers while boosting farmer incomes and allowing for the use of more sustainable farming practices.
According to the report, limiting farmers’ access to technology and forgoing productivity gains has had profound effects in the U.S. over the last five years. Namely, these delays have:
- Limited farm incomes by $5.3 billion
- Prevented the creation and support of over 34,000 jobs
- Prevented wage growth of nearly $4.6 billion
- Reduced potential economic output by nearly $7 billion
- Reduced potential business sales by nearly $15 billion
Looking ahead, should China adopt regulatory practices that allow for more timely commercial introductions of products, the U.S. could see the following economic benefits unlocked:
- Increase in farm income by over $5 billion
- Over 19,000 jobs would be created and supported
- Increase in wages by nearly $4.4 billion
- Increase of potential GDP by over $7.3 billion
- Increase of business sales by nearly $15 billion
The NCGA is continuing efforts to work with the U.S. government in urging China to adopt a science-based regulatory system that ensures both proper oversight of new technologies as well as an efficient and effective review process.