Saturday, 10 May 2008

The EU - Help or hindrance for our farmers?

From the Scotsman:

The EU still takes more than two years on average to license a perfectly safe GM product. In the US, the average approval time is 15 months. Now the EU is once again in the news for delaying its approval of GM foods – two maize crops and a potato with extra starch – by passing the decision on to the European Food Safety Authority, causing consternation amongst those waiting for their authorisation.

As consumers, we do not feel the impact of such time delays. But farmers, who are falling further behind in the world market as they are forced to feed their animals more expensive non-GM foods, are feeling this delay dearly. Scottish farmers are losing on average £20 for every pig slaughtered because of rising fuel costs and lack of access to cheap feed. There is a real danger that we will soon have no UK pig industry left. In the ten years from 1996 to 2006 the UK pig herd has fallen from 7.9 to 4.9 million. On the other hand, farmers across the world are feeding their animals GM foods and, due to lower costs, selling to our supermarkets for a much lower price. We import vast quantities of chicken, pork, lamb and beef reared on cheap GM feeds, which are outlawed in the EU. UK consumers happily munch away on this stuff while voicing their approval of "zero tolerance" policies in respect of GMs in Europe. It makes "zero" sense!
Get ready for more of this.

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