“The House sent a strong message to the European Union,” says NCGA President Fred Yoder. “Members of the House from both sides of the aisle and from all regions of the country stood up for farmers today by supporting H. Res. 252. We want to thank Majority Whip (Roy) Blunt, and all those who voted for the legislation for their continued hard work on behalf of American agriculture.”
NCGA strongly supports a WTO case against the illegal moratorium, which has locked out exports from the U.S. since 1998. According to the Foreign Agriculture Service, U.S. corn exports have diminished in the last five years from a high of 1.56 million metric tons to approximately 23,000 metric tons. It is estimated the moratorium has cost U.S. corn exports $1 billion since its inception.
NCGA also expressed extreme disappointment in organizations that opposed the legislation. “It is unfortunate when groups that purportedly represent farmers argue against innovations that help farmers become more profitable and better stewards of the land,” says Yoder.
At the behest of Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), several groups led a campaign to oppose the resolution.
“Unfortunately, these groups and their supporters are repeating the tired rhetoric of the Europeans,” Yoder says. “Fortunately, Congress and the American people are tuning them out. They recognize the great opportunity of biotechnology, which allows us to do more with what we have.”
H. Res. 252 was introduced by Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and cosponsored by Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), House Agriculture Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Ranking Member Charlie Stenholm (D-Texas), Reps. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio) and Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.).