October 31, 2019
EU commissioner decries "scaremongering" opposition against import of GM feed
Vytenis Andriukaitis, the EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, has slammed the opposition against the importing of genetically-modified (GM) feed or food in Europe as "scaremongering" and "a conspiracy theory" in an interview with AgriLand.
The European Union is currently the world's second-biggest importer GM soybean, which is largely used for animal feed. The bloc brings in about 14 million tonnes of soybeans each year for the purpose of feeding animals, the EU Commission's Crops Market Observatory reveals.
According to Andriukaitis, keeping GM feed product out of the EU market would negatively affect farming in the region.
And, that is even though the production of soybean has been blamed for global deforestation, especially in South America. It is also a matter that have attracted the attention of environmental campaigners, climate change activists, scientists and some farming groups who are concerned of the same problem in Brazil.
"Don't blame soybeans for deforestation because deforestation is up to humans; their activity. (Genetic modification) is a scientifically-developed breeding technique resulting in crops which are full of rich proteins that you can feed to animals," the commissioner said ahead of Animal Health Ireland's 10th anniversary conference in Dublin, Ireland.
"If you are using mono-cultural industrial agriculture that is creating problems, monopolising the market with people fighting to have more land and destroying the land - that is down to humans, not soybeans."
Andriukaitis went further in his attack on the opposition against GM feed, claiming that the banning of these products could cause "an economic crisis" in Europe.
"You can't guarantee everyday food on your tables if you exclude today's feed for fish, poultry and animals in Europe," he remarked.
Non-GM soybean have fallen in numbers, with recent figures suggesting that only nine million tonnes are potentially suitable for use in the EU.