Food companies’ supply chains “at risk” from new GMO feed rules
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 FoodNavigator.com: “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.
Why does Clean Food costs more than polluted food?
Posted by Lydia Freund,
The nature of the problem
Posted by Sweet Clarity,