World Trade Organization signs statement regarding pesticide use

In Southeast Farm Press

The delegations of the United States, Uganda and Kenya are circulating a statement at the 11th World Trade Organization (WTO) Ministerial Conference in Buenos Aires that calls on all members “to strengthen the implementation of the WTO SPS (Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures) Agreement by reinforcing the work of relevant international standards organizations and ensuring the scientific basis of SPS measures is sound.”

The statement focuses on pesticide use and its impact on international trade of food and agricultural products.

The statement, which is signed by representatives of 17 countries, reads: “We support the voluntary actions by Members put forward by Kenya, Uganda and the United States to increase the capacity and efficiency of Codex in setting international standards on pesticide maximum residue levels (MRLs); to improve transparency and predictability in Members’ setting of national MRLs; to achieve greater harmonization across national and regional MRLs; and, to enable greater access to alternative pesticides and pesticides for minor-use crops, particularly in developing countries.”

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue praised the statement, saying, “the development of sanitary and phytosanitary measures (SPS) that are grounded in science is critical to protecting human and environmental health, facilitating trade and enabling agricultural producers to meet the challenge of feeding a growing global population. With this statement, we take a step further in that direction.

“We look forward to continued collaboration with the WTO SPS Committee, the Codex Alimentarius Commission and other partners to establish international residue standards that enable the safe use of pesticides and, at the same time, facilitate trade in food and agricultural products.”

Read the rest of the story in Southeast Farm Press.

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