Groups critical of E.U.’s lack of decision on GM products

by World Grain staff
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BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — COCERAL, FEDIOL and FEFAC on July 5 express serious disappointment about the European Commission’s lack of consideration for the consequences for the E.U. food and feed business operators of having further delayed the E.U. authorization of eight GM products for import, food and feed processing. The groups said this postponement by the college of E.U. Commissioners leaves the E.U. food and feed business operators exposed to possible risk of disruptions of the vital imports of soybeans, maize and various protein-rich products derived thereof from the key exporting regions to the E.U. as well as serious legal uncertainty.

The eight GM products have been deemed safe by the European Food Safety Authority (ESFA) and have reached the final stage of the risk management process. The decisions for the related E.U. import authorizations lay in the hands of the E.U. Commission: some of them are awaited since the end of 2013.  The eight products are Maize MON 87460, Rapeseed GT 73, Soybean 305423, Soybean MON87708, Soybean MON87705, Soybean BPS-CV127-9, Maize T25 and Cotton T304-40.

The groups said that in order to not further threaten the much needed supply to the E.U., a decision needs to be taken by beginning of September 2014, before the 2014 autumn harvest will be made available in the key exporting regions to the E.U. and before risk of non-compliance will increase even further.

The E.U. depends for 75% of its needs for protein-rich ingredients for feeding purpose on the global world markets. Some of these GM products, maize, soy and rapeseed are already commercialized abroad, others will be harvested and made available in the key exporting regions to the E.U. as from autumn 2014. Additional delays in the E.U. authorization process may, therefore, lead to significant shortage and trade disruptions due to unavoidable presence of these GM events in our supplies of both GM and non-GM material. This would trigger further uncertainty on import flows, supply chain disruptions and price hikes for basic food products and major feed ingredients as well as undermine the competitiveness of the E.U. food, feed and livestock sectors. 

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