US officials on [February 21] ratcheted up pressure on the European Union to address longstanding agricultural issues between the two regions, the latest effort by the United States to get the EU to include farm products in trade talks.
Speaking to attendees of a U.S. Department of Agriculture annual forum, Chief Agricultural Negotiator at the U.S. Trade Representative’s office Gregg Doud said it was “high time” for the EU to “get with the program” on issues like biotechnology, or genetically engineered ingredients known as GMOs.
“I can’t express my frustration with European agricultural and the way they deal with things like biotechnology, the way they deal with things like beef hormones,” USTR official Gregg Doud told attendees at USDA’s Agricultural Outlook Forum.
“Their politicians, you ask them a question, and they say, ‘Well, maybe I need to check with Greenpeace before I answer.’”
The United States has said that the EU’s lengthy process for biotechnology approvals slows down innovation and curtails U.S. access to the European market.