WTO Members Support Policy Approaches to Enable Innovation in Agriculture

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United States Department of Agriculture

Press Release

WTO Members Support Policy Approaches to Enable Innovation in Agriculture

WASHINGTON, Nov. 2, 2018 – U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced that the United States has joined with 12 other nations to support policies that enable agricultural innovation, including genome editing. The International Statement on Agricultural Applications of Precision Biotechnology was released in Geneva at the World Trade Organization (WTO) Committee on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures.

“Precision biotechnologies such as genome editing hold great promise for both farmers and consumers around the world. These tools can play a critical role in helping farmers address many of the production challenges they face while improving the quality and nutritional value of foods available to consumers worldwide,” said Perdue.

“Unfortunately, such technologies too often face regulatory roadblocks that are based on misinformation and political posturing. Therefore, it’s gratifying to see Argentina and other allies come together under the WTO umbrella to publicly embrace science-based regulatory systems that will allow us to unlock the huge potential of these new technologies.”

Countries and organizations supporting the statement, to date, are: Argentina, which led this effort, as well as Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Jordan, Paraguay, the United States, Uruguay, Vietnam and the Secretariat of the Economic Community of West African States.

The text of the joint statement, which is being updated as additional countries sign on, is available on the WTO website.

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