GREENPEACE, with the assistance of the campaigning group Farm, has produced a report showing how the UK dairy industry can overcome its dependence on imported GM feedstuffs.

Currently, Greenpeace claims, almost all supermarket own-brand milk comes from cows fed on GM feed imported from the US and Argentina.

In the short term, the dairy industry can change to non-GM feed imports at a cost of less than 1p on a litre of milk, the report states.

The extra cost can be paid by the supermarkets to help farmers produce the kind of GM-free product that consumers want.

In the long term, Greenpeace argues, the industry could become entirely independent of imported feeds by switching to a feed regime based on a mixture of UK-grown protein crops such as lupins, clover-enriched grazing and cereal and legume wholecrop silages produced on-farm.

John Turner, dairy farmer and a founding member of Farm, said:

“Far from threatening livelihoods and further eroding their dwindling margins, important market opportunities exist for those able to supply GM-free produce.”

“Using GM-free feeds will not incur prohibitive costs, and there exists a real benefit for arable farmers as well as those specialising in livestock.”