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November 19, 2008: AIC welcomes latest GM soya approval but warns more needs to be done to tackle EU animal feed shortage

The Agricultural Industries Confederation has welcomed the approval of a new genetically modified (GM) soya as a step in the right direction, but remains concerned about future shortages of protein for animal feed in the European Union.
The leading voice for the UK’s agricultural supply industry has echoed the concerns of the European Feed Manufacturers Association (FEFAC) that more still needs to be done to avoid a serious shortfall in the market.
Tony Bell, chairman of AIC’s feed executive, said: “We welcome the approval of Bayer Crop Science’s GM soyabean by the European Commission. However, there are still concerns over the speed of approval of Monsanto’s Round up Ready 2 varieties. It is still vital that we find a solution to the EC’s zero tolerance approach to the presence of unauthorised GM events in commodity shipments.
“As an industry we are fully committed to only introducing ingredients to the food chain that have been authorised through independent, science-based scrutiny. But the fact of the matter is that the EU is taking twice as long as other nations to authorise new GM crops, which is restricting the EU livestock industry’s access to feed ingredients being used elsewhere in the world.”
Tony Bell added: “We remain convinced that EU approval is the best solution to the import issue but we will continue to make the case for a low level presence threshold not just in soya but also in maize.”
Under the current zero tolerance policy any commodity shipment found to contain the smallest trace of an unauthorised GM event is not permitted to enter the EU. FEFAC has warned that unless this regulation is changed the feed chain could be paralysed by spring 2009.
In May, the EC was charged with finding the technical solution by summer 2008. After this deadline was missed, the EC said a solution would not be announced until September at the earliest. This has meant that imports into the EU of US maize gluten and corn distillers have been severely restricted, pushing up the livestock industries’ costs. If a solution is not found before Round Up Ready 2 is grown in the USA the feed industry faces a very severe shortage of protein.

More information

Judith Nelson,
Confederation House
East of England Showground
Tel: +44 1733 385252
Fax: +44 1733 385270
Email: Judith.nelson@agindustries.org.uk
Web: www.agindustries.org.uk