GM and the ‘technical solution’- The meaning for Europe & international trade

23.11.2012

GM and the ‘technical solution’- The meaning for Europe & international trade

 
European farmers have faced a perennial problem: from where do they source suitable cost-effective feedstuffs for their animals. Like humans, animals need a nutritionally balanced diet including carbohydrates, proteins, fibre and fats. As Europe cannot produce sufficient quantities of its own protein-rich feeds, for many years these have been imported as bulk commodities mainly from North and South America to meet this demand. As these exporting countries’ farmers have long benefited from cultivating the latest GM crops, they continually seek to grow new and superior GM crops, once they are authorised to do so. At present, new GM crops are approved for cultivation and/or import faster in most major cultivating/exporting and importing countries than in the EU.
 
Until July 2011, the EU prohibited the import of animal feed that contained any GM material that is not approved by the EU. With the ‘technical solution’ for low-level presence, a step forward has been made. However, there is still no technical solution for food imports, though the EU’s net imports are equivalent to outsourcing arable land almost as big as the entire area of Germany. Challenges for international trade still lie ahead.
 

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