A USA Rice Federation delegation recently discussions this week with European Union officials as part of the continuing effort to restore the marketability of U.S. long-grain rice in Europe.

Carl Brothers, USA Rice International Trade Policy Committee chairman, and Marvin Baden, EU Trade Policy Subcommittee chairman, led the delegation, which also included USA Rice staff members Bob Cummings, senior VP, and Hartwig Schmidt, regional director.

Delegation members met with officials from the Directorates General of Agriculture and Trade, and with technical officials from DG-SANCO, the EU’s consumer health and safety regulator. U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) representatives from the U.S. Mission to the EU accompanied USA Rice at these meetings, as did representatives of the Federation of European Rice Millers.

The delegation presented findings from early testing of the 2007 long-grain crop — which show no presence of LibertyLink traits — and discussed sampling and testing procedures.

Documentation of the findings, which USA Rice will prepare for EU officials, plus publication of the still-outstanding results of USDA’s investigation of the Liberty Link situation, will be of critical value when the EU reviews the current regulatory import requirements for U.S. long-grain rice in early October.