December 16, 2010
Finland experiences an increase in GM feed
Although the largest Finnish animal feed producers have been avoiding genetically modified raw materials, the country is still experiencing increasing economic pressures to adopt GM produce.
Most of the soy used as a basic ingredient of Finnish animal feed comes from South America. Today, more than 10% of soy is genetically modified, with the proportion of altered soy rising globally.
In this scenario, more and more Finnish feed producers have been forced to reassess where they stand in regard to genetically modified goods.
According to Kari Tillanen, CEO of LSO Food, the price difference between genetically modified and non-modified produce is already nearly two-fold.
Up till now, the big Finnish feed producers such as Suomen Rehu and Rehuraisio have committed themselves not to use modified raw materials.
However, this may change as smaller feed producers attract more of the market with their cheaper GM produce.
For instance, a small company from Satakunta has managed to grab a quarter of the chicken feed market with its GM modified chicken feed.
Significant amounts of GM soy is already being imported to Finland. With increasing competition, Rehuaisio CEO, Leif Liedes, admitted that over a period of time, the big feed companies can barely afford to support non-genetically modified foods.
According to Jukka Rantala, from Finland's Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners (MTK), four out of five kilogrammes of Christmas ham and chicken will be GM-free this year.