July 14, 2022
Animal breeders in Karnataka, India, call for access to GM feed
Animal breeders in Karnataka, India, plan to strengthen their pitch for procuring genetically modified (GM) feed for reared animals, citing that over 80% of poultry and livestock in Europe are fed genetically GM crops.
At a state-level event organised by Compound Livestock Feed Manufacturers' Association of India (CLFMAI), Karnataka Poultry Farmers and Breeders Association (KPFBA), Animal Nutrition Society of India and Biotech Consortium India Limited (BCIL), over 90 industry players and stakeholders from Karnataka came together to discuss the benefits of GM feed and the impact it will have on meat production in India.
"This event is mainly for knowledge sharing and we want people to understand that once the regulatory authorities approve GM crops, they are going to be grown as safely as the non-GM crops," said Vibha Ahuja, chief general manager at BCIL.
While it has been a year since the meat production industry experienced notable challenges in procurement of corn and soybean to feed animals fit for human consumption, the demand for GM crops has never been stronger.
Additionally, due to decreasing availability of soybean and corn to feed poultry and livestock, farmers are rooting for genetically modified versions of these crops.
"Millions of people in Europe are eating GM-crop fed meat and there has been no health or environmental hazard," said Sushant Rai, president of KPFBA. "This is a tried and tested method and proved to be safe. The culmination of our outreach efforts to our peers needs to reach Delhi. A strong follow up that will contain recommendations from our associations and the justification behind our industry's needs will be important."
PS Mahesh, director and joint commissioner of the Central Poultry Development Organisation and Training Institute, stated that for generations, Indians have been drinking milk from cows fed with GM cotton seed.
"Cow milk is GM milk as the cows reared for dairy are largely fed cotton seed, a byproduct of BT cotton," Mahesh said. "When there are no objections to this, why should there be any to feeding other animals GM crops?"
- The Times of India