Substituting GM soya with non-GM soya would lead to an increase in livestock feed costs of around 10% according to the results of an economic impact assessment carried out on behalf of Europe’s three major feed sector organisations.
Timed to appear in the run-up to tomorrow’s GM “opt-out” vote in the European Parliament, the publication of the assessment’s findings includes a claim that the EU livestock sector would see feed costs rise by a total of €2.8 billion (£2bn) if all member states opted out of GM-soya usage.
Backed by the trade bodies, COCERAL, FEDIOL and FEFAC, the assessment reaches the conclusion that accepting the European Commission’s proposal to “opt out” on the domestic use of GM products would lead to the EU livestock industry being “put at risk”.
“First and foremost, the adoption and implementation of the proposal will place this industry at a significant competitive disadvantage vis-à-vis its competitors in non-opting out member states and third countries, in as much as it will be required to pay the high costs for non-GM soya meal or alternatives,” it is stated.
“In addition, replacing GM soya meal with domestically-grown oilseed and protein feedstuffs is not a feasible and practical alternative because of technical and climatic constraints.”
Footnote: COCERAL is the European association of cereals, rice, feedstuffs oilseeds, olive oil, oils and fats and agro-supply trade; FEDIOL is the EU vegetable oil and protein meal industry association and FEFAC is the European Compound Feed Manufacturers’ Federation.