BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — European Feed Manufacturers Federation (FEFAC) President Patrick Vanden Avenne said on Feb. 8 that the E.U. cannot delay any longer in adopting the “technical solution” for imports of feed containing traces of GM events not yet approved in the region.

“The E.U. livestock sector, in particular the pig farmers, currently faces the most severe crisis for decades. At a time when livestock farmers are struggling with high feed costs due to record world price levels for cereals, we risk losing market access to the South American spring soybean crop with dramatic consequences for the supply of protein-rich feedstuffs due to the present E.U. zero-tolerance policy,” Avenne said.

“No one can deny that the economic and social risk for the E.U. livestock chain and the E.U. consumer is real and will further increase as the number of GM events authorized worldwide but not yet authorized in the E.U. increases every month. It’s time for the E.U. to catch up with the reality of global expansion of GM crop acreage to ensure feed and food security of E.U. livestock farmers and consumers by adopting the ‘technical solution’ as a first step in the right direction,” he said.

On Feb. 8, E.U. member states will be invited by the E.U. Commission to adopt technical measures aiming at avoiding future trade disruptions on imports from third countries of feed materials containing traces of GM events not yet approved in the E.U.

The E.U. livestock sector could face a meltdown in the coming months if the E.U. should not be able to import enough protein-rich feedstuffs.

The E.U. Commission proposal foresees a technical threshold of 0.1% for GM events not yet approved in the E.U. but for which a dossier for authorization and a method of analysis have been introduced at EFSA level.

FEFAC and other E.U. feed and food chain organizations have continually warned the E.U. and national authorities of the consequences of this zero-tolerance policy on E.U. economic operators and consumers.