U.S. Farm Organizations Express Importance of Biotech Trait Approvals in China
The American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, National Corn Growers Association and U.S. Canola Association raised concerns about the ongoing delays, lack of transparency and arbitrary decisions in China's process to approve new biotech traits in a letter to the U.S. Trade Representative, Commerce Secretary and Ag Secretary on Friday. China is now the largest export market for U.S. ag goods - valued at over 32-billion dollars in 2012 - according to the groups - yet China's biotech approval process has gone from slow - yet predictable - to slower, unpredictable and non-transparent. The groups says the current Chinese approval system is preventing U.S. farmers from adopting new technologies necessary to increase yields, fight pests and weeds, enhance quality and improve environmental performance. Farmers in the U.S. want to help meet China's food security needs - according to the groups - which note they have been working in partnership with the Chinese food, feed, livestock and textile industries for decades. But they say the ability to efficiently and consistently produce and increase crop production depends on commercializing new biotech traits to ultimately provide more affordable, healthy food and fiber to Chinese consumers.
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