BRUSSELS, BELGIUM — On Feb. 22, Patrick Vanden Avenne, president of the European Compound Feed Manufacturers’ Federation (FEFAC), welcomed the vote of the Standing Committee on the Feed Chain and Food Safety at the level of the E.U. Commission on the so-called “technical solution” for traces of not yet approved genetically modified organisms (GMO).

The decision regulates the analyses and sampling procedures to be applied for the evaluation of not quantifiable traces: “After more than two years of discussion, 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. This measure should safeguard vital supplies of new crop protein feeds from South America to our E.U. livestock industry.”

FEFAC opposes the view that the “technical solution” means a weakening of the principle of the so-called zero tolerance for GMO.

FEFAC noted that the decision is first and foremost an important step toward more legal security. “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.”

Vanden Avenne said, “At least this situation should change now.”

The complete separation of non-approved GM varieties in the supply chain dominated by bulk-handling for feed materials is practically impossible, even if these varieties are cultivated in very low quantities in the producing countries, FEFAC said. The logistical burden for the feed sector to respect the new legislation will remain a major challenge which would require, in the medium and long term, a more comprehensive solution in form of a real low-level presence threshold.