Minister backs tolerance for genetic modification in EU feed imports

AGRICULTURE Minister Brendan Smith is to support tolerance for low level traces of genetically modified material in animal feed imported into the EU. He told the Dáil: “I have informed Commissioner Vassiliou of DG Sanco that my officials will work closely with her officials to agree a proposal for the setting of a tolerance for the low level presence of, as yet, unauthorised GM events.”

Feeds have been dearer in the EU because an estimated 180,000 tonnes of US soybeans have been blocked at EU ports this year, because of the EU’s zero tolerance of trace amounts of two GM maizes as yet not approved by EU member states.

Mr Smith said: “Most of the recent problems being experienced by the animal feed industry have revolved around asynchronous authorisation of GM varieties between the feed exporting countries and the EU, and the detection of traces of two GM maize varieties, not yet authorised in the EU, in soya and maize feed imported shipments, resulting in their rejection.

“This has led to uncertainty in the trade of these products, which in turn were replaced by more expensive alternatives.”

“ I am pleased that the commission has recently authorised one of these varieties and hopefully will authorise the other before year end.”

He was responding to a Dáil question from Fine Gael Deputy George Lee.


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