Food companies’ supply chains “at risk” from new GMO feed rules

By Sarah Hills

- Last updated on GMT

Food companies’ supply chains “at risk” from new GMO feed rules

Related tags Genetically modified organism European union Risk management

Food manufacturers face extra costs and the potential risk of GMOs entering the food chain as new GMO rules for imported feed come into force on Friday, warns Cert ID Europe.

The new European Commission regulation aims to harmonise rules for the control of imports of feed materials from countries such as North and South America, which may contain traces of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) not covered by EU authorisations.

It sets out a ‘technical zero’ of 0.1 per cent for unauthorised GM presence in imported feed, while the ‘zero tolerance’ level for food still applies.

However, Richard Werran, managing director of the non-GMO certification body, Cert ID Europe, said that food and feed are so interlinked that the new rules could pose a risk to ingredients companies and manufacturers.

He told “Everybody in the food business knows that food and feed chains are not separated or segregated, they overlap.

“It is not unusual for a food ingredients manufacturer to source feed grade raw materials to produce food additives and ingredients.”

An example of this hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP), which is used in many savoury products, from baked goods to flavour enhances.

Werran added: “We are seeing a relaxation on the feed side that is going to give the food side a problem.

“There could be implicit exposure of unauthorised GMO.

“It is therefore essential that food and feed operators test risk ingredients using the latest protocols to detect LLP (low level presence) of unauthorised GMOs.”

The new rules are primarily going to affect those companies sourcing from North and South America, according to Werran. This would include soy, maize and rape seed.

He said that the key is for manufacturers to understand their supply chain, adding: “They need transparency in the supply chain. They need to ask the relevant questions of their risk suppliers. They need to update their risk assessment and ask whether their suppliers of ingredients have the right testing protocols in place.

“It also means that the supply contract concerning quality of the feed raw material needs to be revisited and revised because LLP will be with us all on Friday.

“It could place them (food manufacturers) in a very difficult situation trying to demonstrate compliance.

“This is all going to be at an additional cost to the food industry.”

However, Werran believes that eventually there will be an extension to the regulations to include food.

The view from the EU

Brussels argues that the regulation ensures a harmonised approach to controls in all Member States and said it also improves the legal certainty for importers of feed from third countries.

Different maize products (four million tons imported in the 2008-09 season) and soybean products (33 million tons in soya meal equivalents in the 2008-09 season), imported mainly from Argentina, Brazil and the US, are “an essential supplement” for the EU's livestock sector.

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Why does Clean Food costs more than polluted food?

Posted by Lydia Freund,

Cui Bono? Follow the money. The monopolization of feed crops by big Agribusiness suppliers has lead to smaller and smaller supplies of clean grain for feed and for human consumers. So much the worse for us since it now pollutes the grain with systemic Bt toxin (i.e., gmo). Don't blame the regulations for hgher prices, blame the monopolizers.

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The nature of the problem

Posted by Sweet Clarity,

The slant of this article is blame the rules as the source of the problem. Let's keep some focus here. The problem is GMO contamination of natural products; the rules are simply a current best effort to address the problem.
At the heart of the problem lies the distressing fact that contamination serves the interests of the GMO producers. Until legislation makes contamination their problem, all of us downstream from them are "at risk".

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