MAIZALL Writes Letter to the Permanent Chinese Mission to the WTO

November 26, 2014
Honorable Sun Xinhua
First Secretary
Permanent Mission to the People’s Republic
of China to the World Trade Organization
228, Route de Lausanne
1292 Chambesy
Geneva, Switzerland

Honorable FU Xingguo
Counselor
Permanent Mission to the People’s Republic
of China to the World Trade Organization
228, Route de Lausanne
1292 Chambesy
Geneva, Switzerland

 

Dear Honorable First Secretary and Counselor:

On behalf of MAIZALL, the International Maize Alliance, we once again want to thank both of you for accepting our request to meet with you on September 29. As we stated in our meeting we want to be transparent and cooperative in communicating our concerns regarding the lack of a synchronous biotechnology policy and the trade disruptions that it is causing.

We are pleased to hear of discussions that have occurred between our respective governments on these issues, particularly the dialogue that occurred between President Xi and President Obama on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings earlier this month in Beijing. In particular, we applaud the agreement between the United States and China on the consensus to intensify science-based agricultural innovation for food security and the commitment to strengthen dialogue to enable the increased use of innovative technologies in agriculture.

It is our hope that this effort will begin the process to normalize trade between China and our three countries through the approval of the maize MIR 162 trait and two soybean traits, which as we understand have proceeded through the required safety assessments and are pending receipt of final approval. As we mentioned to you in our meeting, MIR 162 has been approved in 19 countries since 2011 and as farmers in three of these countries, we rely on the value of this trait in terms of the benefits to addressing pest problems and increasing yields.

More importantly, we would urge your country’s participation in this dialogue as well as with Brazil and Argentina and China’s work within existing timelines for approving applications and issuing safety certificates and work towards adoption of international general principles on safety assessment for biotechnology products that will be more transparent and predictable.

This effort will be beneficial to China in the context of global food security. We previously noted your country’s priority to develop a robust indigenous biotechnology industry and desire to provide your farmers more access to modern farming practices, including biotechnology which would assist in producing crops more sustainably and address environmental challenges. This dialogue will also help address the concerns you raised regarding your consumers lack of understanding of the nutrition, quality and safety and benefits from biotechnology. China will play an integral role in meeting the future global challenges of food security.

We can work together to assist you in all of these areas. Ron Gray, U.S. Grains Council Chairman and MAIZALL Director who you met in Geneva, participated in the DRC Food Security and Sustainability Summit in Beijing earlier this month. We offered our perspectives on how we can work together to meet these challenges. We have attached a copy of the presentation for your information – DRC Powerpoint Presentation. We stand ready to work with you on these important issues.

Sincerely,

Julius Schaaf
President, MAIZALL
Immediate Past Chairman, U.S. Grains Council, United States

Sergio Bortolozzo
First Vice President, MAIZALL
President, ABRAMILHO, Brazil

Alberto Morelli
Second Vice President, MAIZALL
Immediate Past Chairman, MAIZAR, Argentina