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Viewing cable 09LONDON2358, REPLY TO BIOTECH VOTES DEMARCHE: OCTOBER 19

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If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol). Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #09LONDON2358.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09LONDON2358 2009-10-16 15:03 2011-02-04 21:09 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy London
VZCZCXRO2143
RR RUEHIK
DE RUEHLO #2358 2891504
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 161504Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3754
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
UNCLAS LONDON 002358 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE PASS EEB/TPP/ABT AND EUR/ERA, 
STATE PASS USTR 
USDA PASS FAS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: ECON ETRD EUN TBIO
SUBJECT: REPLY TO BIOTECH VOTES DEMARCHE: OCTOBER 19 
MEETINGS EU AGRICULTURE COUNCIL AND SCOFCAH  REF: STATE 106819  

1.  (U) Post delivered Reftel talking points to relevant UK officials, including the Head of Novel Foods and Processes, Food Standards Agency (FSA).  

2. (U) We received a swift and unequivocal written response:"The UK retains a science-based policy for biotech authorizations and we have not identified any problems with these maize varieties.  We continue to press the Commission to present its proposal for low level presence."  

3. (U) Further clarification from the FSA was obtained verbally.  On the issue of zero tolerance, the FSA said: "We won't let it lie, but realistically we expect little to no action until the European Commissioners have started their new terms (of office)."  The FSA revealed that they do not expect the zero tolerance issue to be raised in the EU Agriculture Council meeting as it is not on the agenda. However, they confirmed that their representative at the Standing Committee on Food Chain and Animal Health (SCOFCAH), Mr. Keith Millar, Head of Animal Feed, will be raising zero tolerance/low level presence as an issue, and pointing out the long delay by the Commission in reaching a technical solution at the start of this meeting.  

4. (U) The FSA also clarified the nature of the SCOFCAH agenda item in connection with Syngenta's Bt11.  The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) will present its latest opinion on the renewal of Bt11 authorization  for discussion, not/not for a vote.  Visit London's Classified Website: XXXXXXXXXXXX 
SUSMAN