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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 19, 1998


European Union Decision on Bio-Engineered Crops

We welcome the European Union's announcement yesterday of its vote in favor of the European Commission's proposals to allow sale in Europe of a number of bio-engineered products. These include corn and corn products from the United States with an export value of over one billion dollars.

This has been an issue of high-level interest for American business. The Administration has worked closely with industry during lengthy consultations with the European Union to ensure a decision based on scientific fact. The President raised this question during the December U.S.-EU Summit. We have worked closely with the Commission and the EU member states since then.

The European Union based its approval on its own and independent scientific advice. The United States had reached the same conclusion concerning our own market. This demonstrates the United States' and European Union's ability to work together in resolving complex trade issues involving new technologies that stand to benefit our societies, our economies and the environment.

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