EU Approves Low Level GM In Feed


Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz


European Union Member States have approved a proposal that will allow the import of animal feed that contains trace elements of genetically modified material.

"There's a growing concern around the world that there can be cross-contamination. We all use the same shipping systems and the same containers. Certainly there's no way of stopping soy dust from being in a canola shipment, and that type of thing" says Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "The European Union is starting to recognize that fact. They need product. The need feedstuffs and they need foodstuffs so they're starting to get their hearts and minds around the fact this is health safe and the right direction to go."

The new rule, if adopted by the European Commission, will allow GM material levels of up to 0.1 percent in animal feed and product destined for industrial use.

Ritz says this is another step toward achieving low level tolerances for food.

"They accepted our science on low level presence in feed and industrial use. That's the first step. They're now beginning to do the heavy lifting when it comes to foodstuffs. Certainly we look for a positive outcome there. We need all three of those pillars," he says.

Canadian flax growers have already experienced the impact of the EU's current zero-tolerance policy on GM material. The EU slammed its border shut to Canadian flax in 2009 after trace amounts of GM material were discovered in a Canadian shipment.