News 207 views last update:6 Aug 2012

Ireland: GM-free animal diets 'unrealistic'

A leading tillage expert in Ireland has warned that applauding genetically modified feed for pigs and poultry in fact means embracing an 'anti-competitive system which is doomed to failure', the Irish Times reports.

Prof Jimmy Burke, who was speaking at a Bioenergy 07 event in the Irish county of Carlow, said that Ireland is importing half its protein for the pig and poultry sector from the US, and this is already causing problems for the industry.

Unable to recover
He said that those who fed their pigs and poultry on GM-free diets were unable to recover the higher costs from the market, and it was, therefore, anti-competitive and had very serious implications for the pig and poultry sector.

Burke added, "Ireland's position on that and saying we would only go down a route where we would only source non-GM feed is not a realistic option." "We need to start sitting up and taking notice because that is a real threat to the sector."

When it was put to him that consumers did not want to eat meat grown on GM-grown crops and would be prepared to pay a premium, Prof Burke replied that was not the case as those who fed GM-free feed were not getting the returns from the marketplace.

Related news item:
GM meat debate in Finland goes on

Related websites:
Irish Times
Bioenergy 07 (pdf)

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