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EU to revise animal feed regulations

Thu 3rd Mar 2011

EU member states have reportedly agreed to a draft regulation proposing to "harmonize the implementation of the zero tolerance policy on non-authorized genetically modified material in feed." According to a Europa press release last week the proposal by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCoFCAH) would allow imported feed to contain up to 0.1% unauthorized GM seed, a limit that reflects the lowest level of GM presence considered by the EU GMO Reference Laboratory when validating detection methods.

If the EU Parliament and the Council accept this change in the next three months, the draft regulation would apply only to GM feed material "authorized for commercialization in a third country and for which an authorization procedure is pending in the EU or of which the EU authorization has expired."

Under the terms of these rules, "feed will be considered non-compliant with EU legislation when the presence of this GM feed material is, after due consideration of the margin of error, above the technical zero."

The Committee suggested the policy change to address confusion over the current situation and to ensure consistency in manufacturing processes across the EU. However, the proposed changes have attracted criticism from consumer groups who champion the "zero tolerance" path. "There is absolutely no reason to allow contaminated food to be fed to animals in Europe. Weakening safety rules to appease the animal feed industry compromises human and environmental safety," said a spokesperson for Friends of the Earth Europe, which noted that only 0.2% of all EU soy imports were ever denied entry for GM contamination.

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