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Putting Science Before Politics

Noting that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has declared genetically improved Bt corn poses no risks, and that the European Union has declared genetically improved foods even safer than other foods, former U.S. ambassador to the EU Thomas Niles is taking on the myth of “Frankenfoods.” In this morning’s Washington Times, Niles says what the U.S. must do at the upcoming World Trade Organization meeting in Qatar.

“For a long time, the more vocal environmental and consumer groups have sought to undermine the role of scientific scrutiny and valid risk assessments in existing WTO rules on international trade and public health. These groups continue to demand the right to use unsubstantiated claims of risk to impose unjustifiable trade barriers — the so-called ‘precautionary principle’ — even in the face of scientific evidence that the products in question are safe…

“It is crucial that U.S. negotiators [at the World Trade Organization meeting in] Qatar safeguard this vital technology and insist that hard science, rather than politics or protectionism, be the primary basis for determining whether genetically modified products are allowed to move freely in international trade.”

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