EU adopts new rules on GM contaminated feed imports

European feed industry welcomes technical solution to LLPs but fears slow pace of asynchronous approvals of GM crops will lead to feed commodity shortages
June 27, 2011

In a move welcomed by the European feed sector, the European Commission adopted a 'technical solution' to GM contamination of feed imports on Friday, June 24, 2011: the new regulations define a technical zero level of contamination at  0.1 %.

Patrick Vanden Avenne, president of the European Compound Feed Manufacturers’ Federation, FEFAC, said his organization welcomed the final EU adoption of a technical low level presence (LLP) solution to non-approved genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in imported feed materials but said "Trade problems resulting from asynchronous approval will remain serious threat to supplies for EU livestock and feed sector.”

Pointing to increased legal certainty for feed business operators Mr Vanden Avenne commented that test results on GMO traces can now be interpreted more accurately and are reproducible.

“Until now, the burden of proof of systematic or accidental differences between laboratories or analytical methods as well as mistakes in sampling or sample treatment exclusively rested on the feed chain. At least this situation should change now”, the FEFAC President said.

Mr Vanden Avenne, however, emphasized the imminent risks for the supply of feedstuffs to the EU feed and livestock sector linked to the persisting slow pace of asynchronous approvals of GM crops in the EU: “EU feed and livestock producers may lose access to maize products from Brazil and the US in the autumn of 2011 and possibly soy products from Brazil in spring 2012 due to the cultivation of new GM maize and soy events which have not yet and may not receive full EU approval prior to harvest in these countries”.

“The “technical zero” laid down in the new regulation will not be sufficient to cover potential carry-over in shipments to the EU from GM seeds which have been sold for cultivation in key export countries”. He therefore stressed that “there is no time for complacency: the EU
must urgently continue its efforts to seek full synchronisation of EU approvals of GM crops with key exporting countries in order to safeguard vital feed supplies and the competitiveness of the EU livestock sector”.