In a letter sent to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, the American Soybean Association (ASA) urged the administration to press the European Commission to approve three biotech soybean traits, each of which has been awaiting final approval since January.
The traits include Monsanto's dicamba-resistant and Vistive Gold high-oleic soybeans, as well as an isoxaflutole-resistant soybean from Bayer CropScience.
'Commission officials have assured the U.S. soybean industry repeatedly during the months of February and March that there were no concerns over these dossiers and that approval would proceed in line with the Commission's pledge to authorize those biotech events which have received positive EFSA opinions within a reasonable timeline,' said ASA President Richard Wilkins in the letter. 'Approval of these events is needed now for the EU Commission to have any semblance of a working biotech approval process. … Timely approval by the European Commission also will avoid the risk of unnecessary costs and disruption to the essential supply of feedstocks needed by the EU's livestock, poultry and feed industries, which are more than 70 percent dependent on imports of protein.'