GM meat debate in Finland goes on

03-09-2007 | |

In the interests of consumer rights, Finnish politicians are encouraging a debate over labelling of meat products from animals fed with genetically-modified feed.

Under European Union regulations meat from animals fed
imported GM feed does not need to be labelled as GM and the feed origin does not
need to be identified.

when, this month, two Finnish meat producers, LSO Foods and Lounais-farmi, declared their intention to import GM soybeans for use as pig

agriculture minister Sirkka-Liisa Anttilahat of the Suomen
Keskusta party called on the food industry to label use of GM feed on meat
products. “Consumers must have the right to know how, and with what sort of
feed, meat is produced,” she said.
The minister has also mooted the
idea of a working group to address labelling of meat from animals not
raised on genetically modified feed, amongst other issues.

Economical reasons
Many Finns do not approve the use of GM feed, according to a
recently held survey

. However the meat companies’ decision
to shift to GM soy is understandable from a financial point of view. There is
already a gulf between the cost of non-GM and GM soy, and that gulf is
continuing to grow as more and more soy producers in Brazil switch to GM

No isolated decision
According to Finland’s Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest
Owners (MTK)

support voluntary
labelling of food products to indicate any use of GM products in the production
chain. But they added that such a measure could not be taken by Finland in
isolation from the rest of the EU, since it would put domestic produce at a
significant disadvantage to unlabelled imports. For now, however, a pan-EU
change looks unlikely.


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