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Cablegate: Turkish Biotech Regulation Published, U.S. Ag

VZCZCXRO0214
OO RUEHDA
DE RUEHAK #1544 2991540
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 261540Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1061
INFO RUEHIT/AMCONSUL ISTANBUL IMMEDIATE 6411
RUEHDA/AMCONSUL ADANA IMMEDIATE 4224
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS IMMEDIATE
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA IMMEDIATE 1609
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS ANKARA 001544

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR E, EEB/TPP/BTA, EUR/SE
DEPT PLEASE PASS USTR FOR CWILSON AND MMOWREY
NSC FOR BBRINK
FAS FOR OCRA/BROWN AND NENON, OSTA/CHESLEY, PORTER, AND
JONES

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO EAGR ECON ETRD TU
SUBJECT: TURKISH BIOTECH REGULATION PUBLISHED, U.S. AG
TRADE DISRUPTIONS EXPECTED

REF: ANKARA 1473

This cable is sensitive but unclassified. Please protect
accordingly.

1. (SBU) On October 26, the GOT published the biotechnology
regulation described in reftel. The regulation is effective
immediately (vice the 6 month implementation period reported
earlier) and could affect up to USD 1 billion worth of U.S.
agricultural exports. Apart from the effective date, the
published regulation differs only minimally from what was
reported in reftel.

2. (SBU) On October 15, EEB/CBA Special Representative
Lorraine Hariton raised the issue with Deputy Prime Minister
Ali Babacan, and Ambassador Jeffrey followed up with a
detailed letter to Babacan on the same day. Subsequently,
Ambassador Jeffrey has tried to reach Babacan by telephone
and also requested a meeting with Agriculture Minister Mehdi
Eker, who is in Saudi Arabia until October 28. Sub-Cabinet
officials have declined Ag Counselor's requests for meetings.

3. (SBU) Turkish food and feed sector companies have all
tried to lodge protests against the regulation with relevant
officials. Textile companies and cotton traders are also
investigating whether cotton will be affected by the new
rules. Bizarrely, the regulation also calls for testing of
wheat along with soy and corn, even though there is no
genetically-engineered wheat in production.

4. (SBU) Action Request: Post believes USTR should consider
an immediate request for WTO consultations in Geneva, as the
regulation itself, as well as its publication without
notification, violates many aspects of the Sanitary and
Phytosanitary Agreement.

JEFFREY

"Visit Ankara's Classified Web Site at http://www.intelink.s
gov.gov/wiki/Portal:Turkey"

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