بعد أيام قليلة من الآن, سيسمح للحكومات الأعضاء في الاتحاد الأوروبي لعدم السماح بزراعة المحاصيل المعدلة وراثيا لأي سبب من الأسباب, باستثناء لحماية صحة وسلامة الشعب, animals and the environment. That decision will still be made by the European Food Safety Authority (الهيئة) based on sound science. This change may make it easier to import biotech crops from North and South America for animal feed.

في 2010 the European Union Commission proposed a ‘disharmonization’ measure to give back to member countries the decision to regulate the planting of biotech crops. زرع, importing and marketing are the jurisdiction of the EU under the current arrangement. The new arrangement is limited to the planting of biotech crops only and does not affect imports and marketing of biotech crops, التي ما زالت تحت سيطرة الاتحاد الأوروبي.

وقد تم ذلك في الحجة القائلة بأنه سيكون من الأسهل للحصول على موافقة لاستيراد علف الماشية – معظمها من الذرة, فول الصويا وفول الصويا – if the planting decision was separated from the import decision. The EU livestock and poultry industries are heavily dependent on imported high-protein meals and face potential shortages when the crop growing countries adopt new biotech events that have not been approved in the EU. The EFSA has determined they are safe for animal and human use and do not harm the environment, but individual countries do not want them planted for other reasons. This regulatory arrangement would divide those two decisions and supposedly make the import decision easier.

وهذا لم يكن قرارا سهلاً لأن العديد من القادة السياسيين في الاتحاد الأوروبي نشعر بالفخر في علاج جميع 28 member countries alike. They argue there cannot be real unity if there is a patchwork of regulations, and there is the practical side of how to manage cross border trade with different regulations. But the divide already existed. A qualified majority of at least 16 البلدان الأعضاء على الأقل 65 percent of EU population voted for the arrangement in a European Council meeting. The European Parliament voted for the proposal 480-159.

سيتعين على البلدان الأعضاء فرصتان للخروج من زراعة محاصيل للتكنولوجيا الحيوية. أول واحد, التي من المتوقع أن تستخدم عادة, is after the biotech crop has been determined by the EFSA to be safe and is being authorized for use. A country will ask to amend the geographical scope of the application to exclude that country from being in the authorized use area. If the biotech crop has already been authorized, بلد يمكن أن أطلب إلى استبعاد لسبب قاهر, such as to address an agricultural policy objective or socio-economic impact. How all of this will be worked out is uncertain.

The critical issue for trade in the planting opt-out is accelerating the approval process for importing new biotech events. If there is no true trade-off of planting and importing or the opting-out process is too cumbersome or uncertain, من المحتمل أن لا عملية الموافقة أسرع من الأحداث الجديدة، والحد من عدم اليقين للمستوردين من الاتحاد الأوروبي أو الولايات المتحدة. المصدرين. The concerns about the low-level presence of unapproved events would remain. EU livestock and poultry producers would have higher feed costs since producers in exporting countries have shown a clear preference for growing biotech crops. The EU also would have more difficulty achieving its goal of maintaining a high level of output for its livestock and poultry industries.

ووفقا لخدمة الزراعة الأجنبية (منظمة تضامن النساء الأفريقيات) تقديرات وزارة الزراعة للسنة التسويقية الحالية, الاتحاد الأوروبي المنتجة 1.7 مليون طن متري (MMT) فول الصويا، وستقوم باستيراد 12.7 MMT. They will import another 19.3 MMT من فول الصويا. The three major exporters of soybeans and meal are the U.S., البرازيل والأرجنتين, وجميع النباتات على مدى 90 النسبة المئوية للتكنولوجيا الحيوية فول الصويا.

The situation is not as extreme for corn. The EU produced 74.2 MMT ومن المتوقع أن استيراد 8.0 MMT. الولايات المتحدة. وكان محصول الذرة 93 النسبة المئوية للتكنولوجيا الحيوية, الأرجنتين 80 في المئة والبرازيل حول 80 percent on average of the summer and winter crops. أوكرانيا, ثالث أكبر مصدر, هو رسميا كل غير-التكنولوجيا الحيوية, but is thought to have to have a significant amount of biotech corn. Several other small exporters have a significant amount of non-biotech corn. The EU also uses large amounts of other domestic coarse grains and wheat in livestock and poultry feed.

The major seed companies that have invested in biotechnology have been relatively quiet about these public policy changes in the EU. They have invested time and money in the EU market and have little to show for the effort and have now focused on the non-biotech market in the EU. Their biotech efforts have been directed outside the EU where there have been good market opportunities. Like the producers of biotech crops in the exporting countries, أنها ستستفيد من عدد أقل من حالات عدم اليقين بوجود سوق استيراد الاتحاد الأوروبي أكثر انفتاحاً للمحاصيل المعدلة وراثيا.

The EU was never going to be a big market for biotech seed. في 2014, الاتحاد الأوروبي تحصد حول 23.7 مليون فدان من الذرة للحبوب و 1.5 million acres of soybeans. If biotech seed made corn and soybeans more competitive with other EU crops, they would likely attract some additional acres. If biotech wheat was developed, الاتحاد الأوروبي ستكون سوقاً كبيرة لأنها تحصد 66.2 مليون فدان في 2014.

اعتماداً على كيفية تنفيذ هذه السياسات العامة, أنها يمكن أن تؤدي في نزاع آخر في منظمة التجارة العالمية, but that is several years away. The more immediate action would be by EU feed users if this does not speed up the approval process for imports and reduce uncertainties. Addressing the low-level presence issue would be one way to provide some relief.

Also of relevance is whether or not one or more EU countries actually allow the wide-spread planting of biotech crops. The reality of the plantings of biotech crops in one of the larger EU countries with no negative consequences could change the perception about the benefits of biotech crops.

كورفيس روس هو التجارة ومحللي السياسات الاقتصادية مع "لجنة تقصي الحقائق حول التجارة" & التكنولوجيا (www.truthabouttrade.org). اتبع بنا: @TruthAboutTrade و @World_Farmers على تويتر | لجنة تقصي الحقائق حول التجارة & التكنولوجيا في فيسبوك.