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Euro Court Set Strict GMO Standards; Distillers Watch NAFTA

**A recent European Court opinion may boost the spirits of biotechnology backers, but it’s unlikely to advance the prospects for biotech agriculture on that continent.

The September 13th decision states neither the European Commission nor EU member states can adopt emergency prohibitions on cultivation of GMO crops unless it’s “evident” that such cultivation is “likely to constitute a serious risk to human health, animal health or the environment.”

According to Agri-Pulse, the court ruled countries cannot simply rely on the EU’s “precautionary principle” in acting to avert potential risks.

**Folks at Jim Beam and Jack Daniel’s are paying very close attention to the current efforts to renegotiate NAFTA.

Christina LoCascio, with the U.S. Distilled Spirits Council, tells Agri-Pulse the industry, which uses about 150 billion pounds of grain per year, has seen exports increase by about 570 percent over the past 25 years.

Similar to other U.S. commodities, makers of whiskey and bourbon saw Mexico and Canada lift all tariffs when NAFTA was implemented, but worry those tariffs could come back if efforts to renegotiate the three-country trade pact fail.

**The USDA says August milk production in the top 23 states was up 2.1% on the year at 17.011 billion pounds.

According to Brownfield, that’s the sixth month in a row with a year over year increase in production and the fifth time this year production has topped 17 billion pounds.

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