German pig crisis blamed on GM opponents

05-02-2008 | |

The current difficulties in the German pig sector are attributed to government opposition to genetically modified (GM) feedstuffs, according to a representative of German opposition party, the Free Democratic Party (FDP).

Hans-Michael Goldmann, agriculture spokesman for the FDP, commented in a
press statement that the problems on the German pig market are partly
“home-made” as the government’s “anti-innovation policy” is blocking
biotechnology in Germany and Europe with inevitable consequences for feed
prices.

He stated further that for Germany’s main EU competitors, feed
costs are lower due to the use of new GM varieties. In addition, he believes
that German pig production laws are a hindrance and pig farmers should be
allowed to feed their animals with animal fats and feeds made from animal
protein.

On January 25, the Bundestag (German parliament) approved a
draft Biotechnology Law stating the criteria for labelling products as GM-free
and the conditions for growing GM crops. The German Farmers’ Union (DBV) is
advising its members to refrain from growing GM crops as yet because of
uncertainties until the legislation has come into force.

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