Feed prices could soar 600% without GM (21/2/2008)

COMMENT from Soil Association: There is no shortage of non-GM feed - just a resistance from supermarkets to insist on non-GM supplies. Since 2001 our largest user of cereals is the poultry sector which has non-GM feed policies, and Brazil is a huge grower of soya at least half of which is non-GM. There is plenty of non-GM soya out there. Feed prices are rising mainly because of speculation on the back of George Bush's nonsensical biofuel subsidies.

COMMENT from GM Watch: As we've previously noted, this argument about the slow pace of GM authorisations forcing up animal feed prices just doesn't stack up - quite apart from the ready availability of non-GM feed that the Soil Association notes above.

*Farmers are struggling with rising animal feed prices in a whole series of countries where they rely on imported animal feed, including countries outside the EU and including countries where they grow GM crops!!

*The hardest hit European farming sector as a result of animal feed price increases is the pig industry, but their big price hikes have been down to wheat and barley, and shortages of feed wheat, i.e. involve crops that are entirely non-GM!

*Comparisons with US regulatory time-frames inevitably look bad because the US has an almost non-existent regulatory system for GM. Comparisons with other GM growing countries like Brazil, Argentina and China, throw up quite different conclusions.

Finally, the '600%' figure for animal feed price rises quoted in the article below, is taken from the worst case scenario in the report by the DG Agriculture, which even its authors admit is not reliable: 'It should be noted that the worst case scenario yields an impact that goes well beyond the technical limits of the model used for the analysis in the provision of precise and reliable estimations.'

For a detailed rebuttal of the claims

For more on the extraordinary character of the US regulatory system


Feed prices could soar 600% 'unless GM approvals in Europe come faster'
Farmers Guardian, 15 Feb 2008 (via Soil Association)

NFU Scotland has said the EU's process for authorising the use of new GM varieties is paralysed and livestock farmers and consumers are set to suffer. The union predicts animal feed price rises of up to 600% unless the EU speeds up the GM authorisation process. It compares the EU to the USA; in the EU, it takes an average of two and a half year for a variety to be approved, while it is just 15 months in the USA. This means feed approved for use in animal feeds and food abroad is not permitted in the EU, threatening EU producers' profitability and export markets. (p.4)

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