MAFF identifies soya supplies
SOME GM-free sources of soya have been identified by MAFF in association with the US. This material is available to UK compounders and traders and is labelled on a voluntary basis.
However, the great reliance on imported soya, especially in the pig and poultry sectors, and maize products means that even if the logistical and labelling issues were resolved, there simply would not be enough GM-free product available.
Most soyabean meal imported this year is likely to be genetically modified. In 1997, the UK feed industry used 1.4m tonnes of soyabean meal, 0.7m tonnes of which was used on farm.
A high proportion of maize and distillers maize grains used in the UK are imported from France, and so are likely to be GM-free. Use of the 1m plus tonnes of maize gluten imported into the UK in 1997 was split fairly evenly between compounders and on-farm use.
No GM oilseed rape is yet grown in the EU, and as most of the rape meal used is from EU sources, it is likely to be GM-free.
The GM issue has already made producers reluctant to commit to feed orders through the winter, and the price of some home-grown ingredients from a non-GM source has risen above the relative feed value of those ingredients. *