1. MAIZALL is the international maize alliance of growers’ associations from Argentina, Brazil and the United States. MAIZALL’s producers grow the majority of the world’s exportable surplus of maize (70 %) (Maizall.org).
2. Increasing demand for safe and affordable food, fueled by population growth and rising incomes in developing countries, presents opportunities for farmers around the world.
3. Unfortunately, for many farmers including MAIZALL members, the choice and access of new safe technologies and tools are increasingly undermined by regulatory decisions that lack sufficient scientific justification, which reduces the number of active ingredients and crop protection products on the market. This raises the potential for barriers to trade in agricultural products.
4. In the European Union (EU), a hazard-based approach to authorization makes it more difficult and more expensive to bring new products to the market and to secure the renewal of existing active ingredients. This could lead to the reduction or removal of Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) and import tolerances of long-used, safe products, potentially leading to serious trade obstacles. Hazard-based decisions with respect to MRLs and import tolerances would run counter to the WTO Agreement, which provides that phytosanitary measures should be based on risk-assessment techniques.
5. Several other importing countries are developing or have adopted potentially trade-restrictive policies on MRLs.
6. An open global trading system based on predictable, transparent and science-based food safety regulations is critical to meeting the demands in areas of food shortage. In addition, farmers must be able to access the full range of tools and technologies available for agricultural production, including the most effective, safe and advanced crop protection products.
7. As farmers, we must be good stewards of our land. It is our greatest asset. Improved technology and access to effective and safe tools are essential to good stewardship so that we can leave our land in even better condition for future generations.