News 399 views last update:6 Aug 2012

EU standpoint on GMO "unworkable"

The European livestock industry could run out of animal feed in less than 18 months owing to the EU's "unworkable" approach to genetically modified (GM) crops, feed importers have warned.

The EU is now so out of kilter with the rest of the world with its zero tolerance stance on imports of feedstocks containing unauthorised GM materials that sourcing 'legal' feed could become almost impossible by 2010, according to the Agricultural Industries Confederation (AIC).

Unless something was done to allow for the adventitious presence of unauthorised GM material up to a certain threshold or to speed up the authorisation process, the viability of the meat industry could be seriously threatened, warned AIC feed executive chairman Tony Bell. "There are real dangers that our livestock industry will be destroyed due to lack of raw material supplies."

The EU's zero tolerance approach had already "practically stopped the import of maize gluten feed and corn distillers", revealed Bell. But most worryingly, the availability of non-GM soybeans and derivatives from Brazil (currently the major source of supply), would decline significantly in the next year as farmers switched to new GM varieties that are not authorised in the EU, he predicted.

Currently, just 17 GM seed varieties have been approved in the EU, with more than 70 still waiting for assessment, said Bell. "The European Commission has to take a practical view."

[Source: www.foodmanufacture.co.uk]

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