Copa-Cogeca, the European farmers federation, urges member states to agree on new EU rules on the low level presence of genetically modified organisms in feed. If not, EU livestock farmers input costs will soar, costing them hundreds of millions of euros, Copa-Cogeca argues.
Copa-Cogeca goes on that the EU is dependent for more than 80% on imports of vegetable proteins for which there are no substitution possibilities in the short term. This is causing feed prices to rise further, thus deepening the crisis in the EU livestock sector, notably for pigs, since feedstuffs represent between 50-65% of production costs in the EU. As these raw materials are used in both the feed and food chain, it would be best to find a technical solution for both food and feed.
Nevertheless, Copa-Cogeca calls on member states in the Permanent Committee for Biotechnology to agree at their meeting on a draft regulation allowing at minimum the presence of non-authorised GMOs in feed up until a maximum threshold of 0.1%.
Given the bulk handling of grains in international trade, compliance with a zero tolerance policy for LLP of unauthorised material is impossible A practical solution must be found in a short term, otherwise it could cost EU farmers hundreds of millions of euros. For the winter period 2009-2010, the Wageningen university has assessed the overall cost at 1 billion euros for 6 months.
Source: Copa-Cogeca; European farmers federation