Aussie consumers not fear GM fed animals

30-01-2009 | |

Australian consumers are not rejecting livestock products made from animals fed with genetically-modified feed stuffs, a new report says.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics says while there is some evidence of consumer concern in Australia and the US, "there is no evidence to suggest this is lowering demand”. "There is little evidence of consumers in Australia and Australia’s major export markets rejecting meat, egg and dairy products from animal fed stock feed containing GM ingredients,” ABARE’s report said.

Nor were there any labelling requirements or market access restrictions imposed on meat, egg and dairy products made from GM-fed animals, either here or in key export markets including the EU, it said. "It seems unlikely Australian livestock producers who choose to use GM feed will be disadvantaged,” ABARE concluded. ABARE’s report estimated that about 487,200 tonnes of GM oilseeds and meal were used in animal feed in Australia in 2006-07. This was about 5 per cent of the weight of total grain and oilseed products used in feed that year, it said.

About 9 per cent, or 20,600 tonnes of canola, used in stock feed was estimated to be GM, while the GM proportion of cotton seed meal was about 92 per cent.The chicken meat and egg industries had the highest proportion of GM stock feed – 14 and 13 per cent respectively, by weight – while the pig and live export sheep industries avoided any use of GM ingredients in stock feed.


Emmy Koeleman Freelance editor