Leaders Request Trade Aid for US Peanuts

Leaders Request Trade Aid for US Peanuts

Maura Bennett
Maura Bennett

Looking for help with barriers to US peanut exports.

David Scott, Chair of the House Ag Committee, and Sanford Bishop, Chair of the House Ag Appropriations Committee want U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai to work to eliminate the European Union’s non-tariff trade barrier for peanuts.

In a letter to Ambassador Tai, Scott and Bishop say the EU’s extreme testing standards have cost US peanut farmers up to $170-million in recent years.

Bob Redding of the governmental affairs group The Redding Firm spoke with the Farm Monitor at the recent Southern Peanut Growers Meeting in Florida.

“We have the safest peanuts in the world. Yet we’re expected to meet a higher standard than other commodities in our class for the EU. It makes no sense whatsoever. The USDA, the AMA, they test our peanuts here. They pass. They get to Europe, their standards and travel time with exposure in many cases, they fail.”

US farmers say the issue is the EU’s unreasonable standard for Aflatoxin, a naturally occurring toxin found in peanuts and other crops.

The FDA established a maximum threshold for aflatoxin of 15 parts per billion for raw peanuts and 20 parts per billion for peanut products. The EU enforces an extra level of testing at European ports and maintains thresholds for aflatoxin that range from as low as 2 parts per billion to 15 parts per billion.

Carl Zimmer, President of the US Peanut Federation said US peanuts are tested at every level of the supply chain and are some of the safest and highest quality peanuts in the world.

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