Soy Canada welcomes EU approval of soybean biotechnology innovation

Posted on: June 10, 2015

Soy Canada today welcomed the European Commission’s decision to approve ten new, innovative biotechnology products for food and seed use import including four soybean events that will be directly beneficial to Canadian soybean producers and industry. “It’s very good news for Canada’s soybean sector,” said Jim Everson, Executive Director of  Soy Canada, “European approval of these products allows Canadian producers and industry to benefit from seed company innovation without fear of market disruption in the important EU market for Canadian soybeans.”

Earlier today, the EU Commission announced the approval of 17 biotechnology products for food and feed use in the EU, including ten new products and extension of authorizations on seven others. Approval of these new events was delayed while the Commission reviewed its authorization process for biotechnology crops.

While today’s news is welcome, Soy Canada remains concerned with the direction of the EU’s crop biotechnology approval process. European approvals are often considerably delayed, especially for products with multiple events. Additionally, earlier this week the Commission announced a proposal to radically change its approvals across Europe – proposing to allow individual member states to prohibit the import and use of food and feed derived from biotechnology that have been approved on the basis of rigorous scientific assessment. “It remains unclear whether member states will allow access to the products the Commission approved today,” said Everson.

“This is good news and we urge the Commission to maintain and improve its current single, EU-wide approval process,” said Mark Huston, Chair of Soy Canada and an Ontario soybean producer.

Soy Canada is the national commodity association representing the full soybean value chain in Canada including farmers, exporters, processors and seed companies. Canadian farmers produced 6.04 million tonnes of soybeans in 2014 earning $2.4 billion in farm cash receipts; the 3rd most valuable crop. Canada exported over 1.2 million metric tonnes of soybeans to the European Community in 2014.

For more information, contact:
Jim Everson
Executive Director, Soy Canada