News 284 views last update:6 Aug 2012

"GM needed to keep feed costs low"

If the EU does not approve a genetically modified strain of maize, the costs for animal feed are likely to increase by 25%, according to the Northern Ireland Grain Trade Association (NIGTA).

Ulster consumers will no longer be able to choose between imported meat and competitively priced local meat, but will instead have to pay high prices for local produce, NIGTA president Robin Irvine warned. In a briefing to food processors and retailers, he insisted that a lack of decision-making in Brussels is putting European food production and safety at risk.

Approval delays
The GM maize trait Herculex was pronounced safe for import for animal and human food, but EU approval is pending. Mr Irvine said: "The EU and particularly Northern Ireland is dependant on the import of protein-rich feeds such as soya and maize products, and predictions by Brussels officials are that approval delays could mean that feed costs in Europe could reach an increase of 25% by 2009. This will make food production in the EU completely uncompetitive."

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