E.U. adopts a 'technical solution' to GMO traces

by World Grain Staff
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BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — FEFAC President Patrick Vanden Avenne on June 27 welcomed the so-called “technical solution“ for traces of not yet E.U. approved genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which was adopted by the European Commission on June 24.

“There is now finally an analytical definition of the ‘zero’ level, which continues to be requested from a political point of view. Test results on GMO traces can now be interpreted more accurately and are reproducible,” Vanden Avenne said. “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.”

Vanden Avenne, however, highlighted the imminent risks for the supply of feedstuffs to the E.U. feed and livestock sector linked to the persisting slow pace of asynchronous approvals of GM crops in the E.U.

“E.U. feed and livestock producers may lose access to maize products from Brazil and the U.S. 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 E.U. approval prior to harvest in these countries,” Vanden Avenne said. 

“The ‘technical zero’ laid down in the new regulation will not be sufficient to cover potential carry-over in shipments to the E.U. from GM seeds which have been sold for cultivation in key export countries,” he added.

Vanden Avenne stressed that “there is no time for complacency: the E.U. must urgently continue its efforts to seek full synchronization of E.U. approvals of GM crops with key exporting countries in order to safeguard vital feed supplies and the competitiveness of the E.U. livestock sector.”
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