Process Management

News last update:6 Aug 2012

Fefac: EU needs GM feed supplies

Coceral and Fefac urge the EU farm council to take a serious look at the conclusions stated in the DG AGRI Report "Economic Impact of Unapproved GMOs on EU feed imports and livestock production".

The EU needs to import more than 10 million tons of cereals to meet its requirements. A failure to do so does mean that the EU consumer will ultimately have to buy meat and livestock products from third countries produced from GM feeds not approved in the EU. The worldwide acreage of GM crops is rapidly increasing (100 million hectares in 22 countries). However, with the current EU policy, exports to Europe are impossible. Jean Michel Aspar, COCERAL President noted that both the Brazilian and Argentinean Farm Ministers made it very clear to the European Commission during recent visits that they would not be able to guarantee absence of non-EU approved GM events in grain and oilseeds exports to the EU, even for supplies which carry a "non-GM" certificate.

Mr Aspar warns Ministers that "the economic impact of even a temporary breakdown of supplies with soybean products to operators in the feed and food chain would be catastrophic. This danger is exacerbated by the high world demand for feed grains and oilseeds (mainly soybeans and soybean meal) especially in South-East Asia, which is overtaking Europe as the main buyer for feedingstuffs from Brazil and Argentina". He therefore calls on Farm Ministers to turn the political key to relieve pressure from EU livestock producers by approving GM crops for import and processing which have obtained a positive EFSA opinion and by setting a workable threshold for low-level presence of GM events which have been approved in export countries according to OECD standards.

Artificial inflation
Mr Pedro Corrêa de Barros, FEFAC President, stressed that the current de-facto import ban for corn gluten feed and Argentinean feed maize has already led to an extra cost of €2 billion for EU-livestock producers. The EU's GM policy results in an artificial feed and food price inflation, which could further affect the purchasing power of EU citizens. Until now, the bill has been paid by the EU livestock industry, in particular the EU pig industry whose viability is at stake, as pig producers are not able to recover the extra-feed costs from the market.

He said that "FEFAC is in favour of setting a workable threshold for low level presence in feed of GM events not yet approved in the EU. Such a threshold must be set at a level that is technically and economically practical. FEFAC and COCERAL put their expertise at the disposal of the EU decision makers to that end". "This threshold is a prerequisite to maintain a viable supply of products of animal origin to EU consumers, regardless of the GM or "non-GM" status of feed supplies to livestock farmers".

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