WASHINGTON, Feb. 25, 2015 – When biotech products are rejected in international markets, who is to blame?
Val Giddings, a senior fellow with the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, says it is “completely understandable that farmers would get their noses out of joint and seek to recoup damages from the responsible party. But in my opinion, they are making a grave, strategic mistake going after Syngenta.
“You could make the argument that Syngenta should not to have sold the seed to American farmers until the approvals were in hand in all of the appropriate big export markets. But to make that argument presupposes that those countries that are the export markets are honoring their commitments under the WTO (World Trade Organization) to make sure that they don’t have protectionist trade barriers disguised as phytosanitary or other requirements.
“The primary offender is not Syngenta; it’s China,” emphasizes Giddings. “There is a severe disconnect between China’s international treaty obligations and the way they are administering their system for the approval of new crop varieties.
“These folks who sued Syngenta to recoup their losses would have been far wiser if they would have grabbed their pitchforks and torches and headed to the offices of the U.S. Trade Representative to demand that they initiate conversations in Geneva with China about the unacceptable deviations between their practices and their treaty obligations,” Giddings adds. “I don’t understand why these plaintiffs have taken a shortsighted and long-shot approach when a more enduring fix is not difficult to imagine.”
For more news, go to www.agri-pulse.com.