EU feed price may rise due to zero-tolerance policy
Pedro Correa de Barros, President of European feed manufacturers organisation Fefac, warns livestock farmers that feed prices may increase significantly at very short notice due to the EU zero-tolerance policy for the presence of trace levels of not yet EU approved GM plants in imported feeds.
He referred to the potential total loss of important soy imports from the US following positive testing by German authorities of traces (dust in foreign material) of not yet EU approved GM maize in US soybeans and soybean meal.
Of concern to the EU livestock industry is that it needs to source soybeans and soybean meal from the US at least until the next South American harvest in spring 2010.
Soy prices could rise by at least 20 €/tonne due to additional “risk premiums” for US origin and even significantly higher if the EU could no longer import from the US, due to the lack of alternative supplies from South America.
The EU is dependent for more than 80% on imports of vegetable proteins for which there are no substitution possibilities in the short term.
EU imports of meat are all produced from animals which may legally be fed with not yet EU authorised GM plants.
Letter of urgency
In a letter to the EU Farm Council Presidency Correa de Barros stated that “at a time when most EU livestock producers were facing economic hardship, the EU opposition to provide a practical threshold for trace levels of not yet EU authorized GM plants in imported feed may drive EU livestock farmers and feed operators out of business”.
The Fefac President therefore called on EU Farm Ministers “to agree on urgent measures at the next EU Farm Council meeting on 13 July 2009 to prevent the export of the EU livestock industry”.
He stressed that "it is the EU's foremost responsibility to ensure vital protein feed imports for livestock farmers and thus food security for EU citizens while maintaining an economically viable and sustainable livestock sector".
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