The ProTerra Foundation, the Brazilian Association of Non-GMO Grain Producers (ABRANGE) and the German Association Food without Genetic Engineering (VLOG) have stood up against the claims, stating that the volume of GMO-free soybeans – used for European animal feed – is actually up on the previous season.
Earlier this month, the ZDG released a statement to the press, acknowledging the exit from using non-genetically modified soybean meal in feed by the PHW Group (Wiesenhof), the Rothkötter Group (Emsland Frischgeflügel) and by other German poultry fatteners, based upon the shrinking supply of GMO-free material from Brazil.
A few days later, the German Egg Association (BDE) also announced the exit of non-GMO feed by some of its egg producers.
According to Reuters, German poultry producers said they had given up on a promise to consumers to avoid feeding bird with soy containing GMOs, because of lower supply. It reported that the German poultry producers’ association (BHH) claimed Brazil was likely to cut its supply of GMO-free soybeans by 50% due to cross-pollination with conventional beans.
However, Ricardo Tatesuzi de Sousa, managing director, ABRANGE, pointed to an uplift in non-GM soy, saying: “Compared to the previous season, this season Brazilian farmers produced 10% more non-GM soy. Forecasts for the biggest soy-producing state, Mato Grosso, even predict an increase of 50% over 2013.”
Augusto Freire, president of the ProTerra Foundation, added: “It is sheer irony that the ZDG should make such an announcement when many sector initiatives in GMO-free Brazilian soybean production in Brazil are bearing fruit.”
The Soja Livre Program has worked to increase the volume and quality of GMO-free soybean seeds year-on-year.
In a collection statement from the three associations today, it has been reported that for the export of the 2014 crop, the number of container shipments will increase from March onwards, in a bid to bypass logistical bottlenecks experienced in the Brazilian bulk terminals.
“Exporters are finding that non-GMO soybeans and soybean meal can be transported to Europe faster in this way – and at a reduced contamination risk by GMO soy,” read the statement.
Alexander Hissting, a spokesperson for VLOG, added: “If someone claims that GMO-free feeding is not possible, it is because he doesn’t want it to be possible.”