BRUSSELS: After voting to allow EU member states to opt out of import of food and feed containing biotech traits, the European Commission approved 17 biotechnology traits for import.
The traits, which include the Plenish and Vistive Gold high-oleic soybean varieties, as well as dicamba-tolerant and omega-3 soybeans, have been in the EU approval process for multiple years.
American Soybean Association First Vice President Richard Wilkins, said the ASA expresses “guarded optimism” about the announcement.
On the one hand, we’re happy to see these traits finally receive Commission approval after years of delay,” Wilkins said. The 17 products approved by the European Commission today have been pending for 69 months on average despite EU laws and regulations that foresee an 18-month time period for a decision.
Whenever our technology partners bring a new trait to market, farmers in the U.S. aren’t able to fully recognize the benefits of products with those traits until they are accepted in all of our key export markets, so this is a big, big step forward,” Wilkins said.
Wilkins noted that ASA was “especially pleased” with the announcement with regard to high-oleic soybeans, which will give food processors the frying and baking qualities they need in an oil without the need for partial hydrogenation which produces trans fats.
Additionally, dicamba-tolerant soybeans will give soybean farmers another tool to prevent and manage weed resistance in their fields,” Wilkins said.