US trade chief urges Europe to open market to GM foods

By Agence France-Presse
Thursday, February 10, 2011 11:22 EDT
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BRUSSELS – A top US trade official said she will bang down the door of the European Commission Thursday in a bid to break a long-standing impasse blocking the march of genetically-modified foods.

“When Europeans come to the United States, they come and enjoy our cuisine without any fears,” Deputy US Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro told an audience of policymakers in Brussels ahead of talks with European Union trade commissioner Karel De Gucht’s senior officials.

“Why should we have different standards in Europe? That alone is a reason to change position.

“I will be raising that issue today — it is important to address, and to continue to press the commission to go the right way. Decisions on GM foods need to be science-based,” she insisted, underlining her confidence in US safety standards.

A day earlier, a committee of experts from the 27 EU states pushed back a commission proposal to lift import restrictions on animal foodstuffs containing traces of GM crops, up to a certain threshold, due to opposition from France and Poland.

Similarly, intra-EU divisions meant authorisation for growing was not granted for three new strains of GM maize and one of GM cotton, marketed by Syngenta and US giant Dow AgroSciences, although the commission will try again on March 1.

“Hopefully these products can be approved, even though we recognise concerns among some consumers,” Sapiro added.

“Hopefully, it will come out the right way… We hope it’s not insoluble.”

Europe has got itself into a bind on GM, with two crops currently authorised — a maize strain for animal feed and a potato for paper-making — but a spate of requests for authorisation caught up in deadlock.

The EU stands accused of “flouting” WTO rules, with some member states and regions having banned cultivation unilaterally, or declared themselves GM-free, and products containing traces blocked at ports.

The commission wants a compromise that would allow states to block crop production on their territory, using religious, cultural or other non-scientific objections — while allowing the free movement of GM goods, food and feed, on their territories.

The best-known GM producer, another US giant Monsanto, is at the forefront of legal moves to open up the European single market, home to half a billion people and 20 million companies.

A petition signed by a million EU citizens seeking a moratorium on all GM crop production is currently gathering dust in a commission drawer.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
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  • Taleisin

    The European people don’t want to eat it. Why push it on them.

  • Anonymous

    Good for you Europe, I don’t want to eat gm food either, that’s why I only eat organic food or food from my local small farms.

  • Anonymous

    Its quite simple, We don’t want your GM food thanks. Our food is great as it is and We don’t want your cheese in an aerosol. Let Us eat as we want not as you want us to.

  • ThatBostonMan

    The USA wants to make EU eat shit. How repugnant!
    Europe can grow their own GM shit if they want to. Let’s use the GM shit to power our cars.

  • Anonymous

    Does she talk while chewing on a Monsanto corn product?

  • ThatBostonMan

    Because the EU has to take it’s medicine like good little children and the US is the doctor/drug pusher.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/YVBA25ZZJYN5C44WGILY6P4X34 Raven

    I live in Germany and the people just don’t want that crap here.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ESQMZ34URJNXQ4XGKHZMOMIW5E Crow

    I would think that won’t work because Europe has a higher quality control over what it allows to be sold as food.

  • Anonymous

    Europe should stand against unsafe, untested poison Genetically Modified Food.

    Tell the Americans and Canadians you will not accept ANY GM FOOD!

    We must rise up and oppose this effort to depopulate the world with GM Poisons!

    We in North America must oppose GM Food until long term testing is done by 3rd parties showing that GM Food is safe for human and animal consumption.

    This has not happened!

    The politicians, and government leaders must be held liable for thid assault on ou food!

    They are CRIMINALS!

    Some tests show 3rd generation infertility, and death!

    Can anyone imagine eating a Genetically Modified Food that is saturated with ¨POISON Monsanto Roundup that kills everything it touches.

    Demand that our food be labelled contains poison; Genetically Modified ingrediants.

  • Anonymous

    disgusting: large US corporate agribusinesses, by way our bought and paid for government, trying to push their crap on the EU?

    I am afraid they will win.

  • Anonymous

    Monsanto Corporation doesn’t control the whole worlds agricultural market yet…could it be that the U.S. based Multi-National Corporations (U.S. Chamber of Commerce) wants to get “involved” (force) and “fix” (force) that oversight

  • Anonymous

    The push for GM Food is the greatest attack against the worlds population in the history of the world.

    Nothing like this has happened before.

    Frankenstein or Genetically Modified Food THAT IS PURPOSELY UNTESTED is being forced onto our dinner plates.

    This is science gone mad!

    I am 67 year old retired financier who has done business all over the world.

    Wake up World.

    We are being screwed by our own leaders!

  • Anonymous

    you can try to avoid it, but the seeds get into the ecosystem.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/NOZNKTI6HAEMMIGFGPGHPRYSLI DaleF

    In Europe food is part of culture, where in the US it is an industrial process. The consumer is just an element of the profit chain. The French gov’t actually subsidizes the traditionally made baguette, while the US subsidizes Cargill and Archer-Daniels-Midland. McDonalds was the recipient of stimulus funds.

  • Anonymous

    The headline should read “Monsanto strong arms US to strong arm Europe to open market to Frankenfoods.” Good on Europe for banning such trash and we need to send Monsanto to the garbage bin here in the US itself. What an evil company.

  • Mein Furor

    Seems to me we should be growing real food people want to eat, instead of engineering Frankenfood that corporations have to spend millions of dollars trying to force down our throats. There are few things more distasteful than being forced to eat something you don’t want to eat.

  • Anonymous

    These companies are criminal, they are trying to control the worlds food production and impose their will on us, they will stop at nothing to attain control of everything. Money, food, water, and energy, every aspect of life’s basic necessities.
    I’m the last, I have no children, but I think the world our youth will inherit will be a lost tragedy.

  • Anonymous

    What? Are you saying Europeans aren’t good enough to be poisoned just like Americans?

  • enorceht

    “When Europeans come to the United States, they come and enjoy our cuisine without any fears,”

    now that miriam sapiro has voiced this factoid perhaps this will curtail european tourists coming here … but to be realistic perhaps they feel because their diet is free from gmo’s for at least 48-50 weeks a year they can survive the intake of gmo’s until the get back home and have a colon cleanse

  • enorceht

    you don’t really need to ask that question, because we all know the answer

    corporations have bought and paid for just about every person working in the u$ government along with anyone else who they feel will help their agenda

  • enorceht

    i think she talks while chewing on monsanto carpeting

  • enorceht

    how long has europe been fighting against gm food ? here’s an article from 2002 and i’m sure i can find older articles — this was quickly found on a simple search

    Africa Bites the Bullet on Genetically Modified Food Aid
    Meron Tesfa Michael
    Sept. 26, 2002

    “Our decision to reject some of these foods is out of fear…. We have been told that we will lose our European market if we start growing GM foods,” Zambian Vice President Enoch Kavindele explained to U.N. aid workers.


  • Anonymous

    I wonder who Sapiro’s biggest donors are? This has everything to do with money. Most of the companies who own GM patents are American and they want to expand their markets.

  • Anonymous

    Firstly, Europeans don’t come to the bloody USA for it’s cuisine.
    Are you fücking shitting me? Aside from some regional dishes, your average European shutteres to even think about the so-called US food culture. Secondly, as most Europeans dont enjoy getting sexually molested, fingerprinted and face scanned upon arrival, even the thought of a good gumbo wouldn’t make it worth their while. Also, as most Europeans aren`t 300 pounds overweight, they would stand out back home, and therefore feel self concious.
    Then again, if you are a Russian spy, US cuisine is a perfect way to blend into your surroundings, waddling along Mainstreet with a burger in one hand, a slurpee in the other, your manboobs wobbling while you soak through your tube top.

  • http://smugmug.com/other/anoceanapart Maheanuu

    Dear America

    Fuck you and your “Frankenfoods” you morons need to continue eating your shit as the rest of the world doesn’t need or want to have America control their agriculture. You have done enough damage with your “Gun Barrel Democracy” and your Twenty Year Torture Plan…

    Just who in their right mind would listen or believe anything you say today? Not me and I used to be one of you!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    “using religious, cultural or other non-scientific objections”

    And what about the SCIENTIFIC objection that GM crops contaminate neighboring fields, then Monsanto comes in and destroys the farmer who is a victim of wind?

    “When Europeans come to the United States, they come and enjoy our cuisine without any fears,”

    And when you drink water, you do it without any fear.. you still don’t see many people willing to drink 3 gallons at one sitting.. some things won’t hurt you in small doses, but saturate your system and you’ll die. … so much for that ignorant cunt having clue one about “science”.. and we’re to trust her judgment that “if the corporation said it’s safe, that’s good enough for me!”?

    I sure wish the Socialist leaning nations would ban/withdraw from the WTO.. globalization is going to destroy us all as these mega-corps twist the law further and further and abuse more people for profits.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    ah.. the “c” word.. pulls the censors out.. bleh.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    The ruling elite knows full well that in 20 to 30 years, we’ll have 90% unemployment thanks to the machines being invented to do menial labor. They are trying to make sure the population count adjusts before you have 4 billion “youths” demanding food and shelter.

  • Anonymous

    if it’s the word I think, it’s not a neccesary remark, now is it?

  • dk504

    >>>”When Europeans come to the United States, they come and enjoy our cuisine without any fears,” Deputy US Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro told an audience of policymakers in Brussels<<<<

    What a dumb bitch, as an executive chef, I can guarantee you that NO European comes to America for our cuisine. They come to see San Francisco,New Orleans, New York. But the cuisine is good, but nothing like a corner bistro in Paris. I for one am going to write the EU and
    tell them not to allow GM foods in to the EU. Why should they destroy their population because America is being Monsanto's bitch?
    I can tell you to that when Europeans come here for the 1st time they are horrified at how fucking fat we are, thanks Monsanto. But we need to get off our asses and get moving again and get strong and not rely on these poisoners to continue their work.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    technically, no commentary is necessary, now is it?

    If you don’t like common vernacular, don’t read comments on the interwebs.

  • Anonymous

    No, no a thousand times no. Some of us love our escapes to Europe to be free of this junk. Everyone should see the French documentary, “The World According to Monsanto.” It not only is junk science (the stuff works briefly, then plants start evolving, and all the weeds co-evolve with them, so basically Monsanto is working a fraud to strong arm people into using their products by ‘patenting’ the genes…Much of what they have developed is virtually inedible.)

    Apparently 80% of all corn now grown in the USA has been contaminated with GMOs; I can no longer digest the stuff. Injecting genes for spider venom to repel weeds just doesn’t sit will with my body.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    When I was in New Zealand, I couldn’t believe how tasty the food was! .. Oh, and Coke? made with SUGAR, not HFCS.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6ONJXS5I5TWRNOEXGZWE7SY4LY aleksandarl

    American cuisine????? Let me think……..nope, just can’t……maybe……..no,still nothing

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KFOFZHLUNJCQATOHPSVHSFKP3I pw

    How about going in the other direction and making it mandatory that all food be ORGANIC???

    What the people want: Nutritious, chemical free organic food(great taste, nutrient rich, happy lives)

    What the corporations wants: Nutrient dead, oversized frankenstein GMO food(profit, unhealthy populace, misery)

  • Anonymous

    Anyone not up to speed with the fight about GM commodities and their drawbacks might look at this article and check out the site. Good folks, these.

  • JAAC

    Miriam Sapiro was probably pushing cigarettes before corn. Our vegetables are safe for human consumption, it’s just that we probably shouldn’t be advertising them to our children.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_TTCYMSQW7E5EVBYYMS2YSNCSAM Anonymous

    I sent a letter to the Office of the United States Trade Representative here: http://www.ustr.gov/about-us/contact-us/your-comment imploring them to promote the products of our family farms instead of GMO’s from corporate giants. I encourage you to do the same.

  • Taleisin

    Your comment is an excellent example of, the use of minimum words for maximum effect. :)

  • Taleisin

    Years ago, I was sitting with my health freak vegan girlfriend in Germany eating spinach. I remembered Chernobyl’s fallout path and that Finland grows spinach. So I asked my German sweetie about it and she replied, ‘If we thought like that, we won’t eat anything.’
    They are not going to accept more poison.

    Have you seen the French riot? And they will. But good luck anyway. ;)

  • Anonymous

    Joe, I don’t want to get into a chat about language…I use such words myself. Just didn’t know if calling the woman that word really elevates the discussion…maybe it did, i didn’t see what you said in context.

  • Anonymous

    I would “like” your comment, because I agree, but I don’t like it!

  • Anonymous

    All GMO need to banned in EU for the safety of our generation of childrens!

  • NadePaulKuciGravMcKi

    trust the Corporations to make you as sick as Americans are

    please help the corporate bottom line

  • Tore B. Krudtaa

    Deputy US Trade Representative Miriam Sapiro just show how deep she have climbed into the pocket of the GMO-industry. This is just another propaganda stunt from irresponsible politicians. Instead of listening to her invalid and undocumentet allegations, it is much better to watch this informative video with Vandana Shiva:

    Future of the Food (part 1):

    Future of the Food (part 2):

    Future of the Food (part 3):

    Why GMO should be banned:

    Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup linked to birth defects in Argentina’s agricultural areas: