Failure on GM Crops Could Ruin Livestock Industry

EU - Europe's livestock industry could be decimated unless genetically modified crops are permitted for use in livestock diets
calendar icon 21 February 2008
clock icon 2 minute read
Farmers have given a stark warning to the European Commission after its agriculture ministers failed, once again to reach agreement on whether to allow imports of five biotech crops intended for animal feed.

According to the TruthAboutTrade, The European Commission, the bloc's executive, is entitled to rubber-stamp the applications to import four types of maize and one type of potato into the EU.

However, Copa-Cogeca, which represents the EU's farmers, said that with feed prices rising and suppliers in the Americas increasingly planting GM seeds, the industry faced ruin without a speedier approval process. Approvals must first go to national governments, which rarely agree.

"It takes two to four years to approve a GM crop in Europe, 15 months in the US. We cannot compete," said Simon Michel-Berger, Copa-Cogeca's spokesman.

Pig rearers are already struggling, he said. Feed costs have risen by 50 per cent but prices have fallen 8 per cent. Without help - including export refunds and subsidised storage - up to a fifth of producers could give up by the end of the year.

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