report shows no problem with EU GMO laws
Brussels, 4 May 2010
– Industry claims that Europe’s laws on genetically modified crops harm the
animal feed industry are false, shows new research today.
of official EU data by Friends of the Earth Europe proves that current laws
function well. Only minute amounts of trade in animal feeds were directly
disrupted by contamination incidents in the last five years. Europe’s legal
safeguards cannot be blamed for any problems in the farming sector.
food and agriculture campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe said: “There
is not a shred of evidence to support the case that Europe should weaken its
GMO safety laws. Claims from the biotech and feed industries that farmers can’t
feed or would even have to slaughter their animals are simply not true. Our
research shows that industry is trying to scare-monger politicians to change
biotech and feed industries are lobbying for the EU to allow contamination of
foods and feeds by genetically modified (GM) crops not approved for sale in Europe. Europe only allows imports of GM foods or feeds that have been approved and refuses
any imports which are contaminated by unapproved GMOs – a so-called ‘zero
industry claims that EU GMO rules are causing a serious crisis and that farmers
might have to slaughter animals rather than let them starve. This claim is
based on the argument that international trade is severely disrupted when
shipments of feed are rejected if they contain GM feeds not approved for sale
in Europe. As a result of this misinformation, the European Commission is
preparing to weaken the zero tolerance rule to allow traces of contamination of
non-approved GM feeds.
Friends of the Earth Europe analysis concludes that:
- The quantities of contaminated animal feed were so low that it cannot be
argued that the EU zero tolerance policy caused significant disruption. Of all
soy imports used as animal feed (for livestock and pets) a maximum of 0.2
percent were rejected because they contained EU non-approved GMOs.
- In contrast to claims made by industry, there is no evidence that soy imports
from the USA were blocked from June 2009.
- Contamination incidents for feed with EU non-approved GMOs have one main origin:
the USA. The USA was responsible for about 90 percent of all contaminations
from 2004 till end of June 2009.
- The two other main producers of GM soy, Brazil and Argentina, have –
according to EU data – caused not one single contamination case.
- The USA has its own zero tolerance policy in force. US authorities do not
accept non-approved GMOs.
Adrian Bebb continued: “Europe’s laws on genetically modified foods are there for a reason - to protect the public
and the environment. Dropping the zero tolerance policy to appease the industry
lobby is unnecessary and would mean a flood of unapproved and unlabelled GMOs
on the European market. The right of the public to say no to GM foods and feeds
must be kept.”
For more information please contact:
Bebb, food and agriculture campaign coordinator for Friends of the Earth
Europe, 0049 1609 490 1163, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gater, communications officer for Friends of the Earth Europe, +32 2893 1010,
+32 485 930515, email@example.com
report ‘No link between animal feed crisis and EU zero tolerance policy’ can be