Economic Impact of GM Hysteria on EU Feed Market


A growing world population coupled with changing diet is projected to increase demand for food production by 70% by 2050. Helping farmers lose less of their crops will be a key factor in promoting food security. In addition to pesticides GM crops will continue to be a vital tool in the diverse range of technologies that can maintain and improve living standards for the people of the world. The EU is dependent for 65% on imports of protein-rich feedstuffs for which there are no substitutes in the short term. The EU livestock sector uses imported soybean, soybean meal and maize by-products as animal feed. Without an adequate supply of these feed ingredients, the EU’s livestock production will loose competitiveness. However, demands from the EU differ to those from third countries with respect to the GM varieties grown, and what are authorised for import into the EU. The risk that supplies of soya products and maize by-products could be affected by the low-level presence of non-EU approved GM material has not been fully resolved as the EU has allowed just a 0.1% tolerance for this plus 0.05% tolerance for measuring uncertainty. This could cause supply problems for the animal feed industry, and ultimately supply of food to consumers. The importance of the EU market and EU requirements for the major soybean and maize exporter countries is declining over time and it is becoming increasingly difficult and costly to maintain a non-GM supply chain in the EU. Food companies and supermarkets will struggle to stay GM-free. EU member states dependent on imports will be forced to deal with more GM presence in their chain. Market forces are forcing governments to authorize products more efficiently, develop tolerance policies or tolerate unapproved varieties in their imports.

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J. Popp, K. Pető, R. Magda and Z. Lakner, "Economic Impact of GM Hysteria on EU Feed Market," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 4 No. 8, 2013, pp. 1547-1553. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2013.48186.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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