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Weekly Overview: EU Parliament Rejects National Bans on GM Feed

2 November 2015, at 6:00am

ANALYSIS - The European Parliament comprehensively rejected a European Commission plan last week which would allow individual member states to ban genetically modified food or feed on their territories.

The proposal was rejected by 577 votes to 75, with 38 abstentions, with the vote following a similar rejection by the Parliament's Environment committee.

European feed organisations COCERAL, FEDIOL and FEFAC said they were relieved at the outcome of the vote. The organisations recently released a report describing the negative impacts that such a ban would have on agriculture, through increased costs and decreased global competitiveness.

In other news, following the World Health Organization's report last week, which linked eating processed meats with cancer, CME analysts noted that the announcement has led to a decline in US lean hog futures by almost 600 points. Similarly, livestock futures also dropped.

There was more bad news this week after a new food report identified human DNA in some US hot dogs and sausages made from various meats.

The study by Clear Food, part of Clear Labs - the standard for molecular food quality in the global food industry, analysed 345 individual hot dogs and sausages from seventy-five different brands sold at ten food retailers.

The findings showed that 14.4 per cent of hot dogs were problematic in some way. Problems included the presence of meat ingredients not on the label and hygienic issues, such as the presence of human DNA.

In market news this week, JBS completed its acquisition of Cargill in the US for $1.45 billion and Danish company Danish Crown had to call off its merger with Tican after it failed to get approval from the Danish competition authorities.

In disease news, African Swine Fever (ASF) has continued to spread in Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine and Russia.

ASF was found in wild boar in Russia, Estonia and Latvia and in farmed pigs in Ukraine. On one Ukrainian farm 286 pigs were destroyed as a result of the disease.

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Mycotoxins in Swine Production

The impact of mycotoxins — through losses in commodity quality and livestock health — exceeds $1.4 billion in the United States alone, according to the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology. This guide includes:

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