Tories enter fray over GM feed

09 February 1999

Tories enter fray over GM feed

By FWi staff

UNKNOWN quantities of genetically modified (GM) ingredients in animal feed could pose a new danger to public health, according to shadow agriculture minister Tim Yeo.

Mr Yeo, the Conservative MP for Suffolk South, has called for government to investigate recent claims that GM ingredients could increase animal resistance to medicinal antibiotics.

This is a new danger which could result from using GM crops, he said.

Fears have been voiced that the antibiotic resistance marker genes used in the development of some GM crops could be passed to animals that eat them.

In the light of those fears, Mr Yeo has written to agriculture minister Nick Brown asking why the government is still rushing towards the commercial planting of GM crops.

A report in the Independent on Sunday last weekend claimed that MAFF officials had no idea how many GM ingredients were included in animal feed.

The newspaper claimed the admission was made in a confidential briefing note from civil servants to food safety minister Jeff Rooker.

It is not possible to know the extent to which GM material is being used in animal feed in the UK, the paper quotes the note as saying.

There is no legal requirement for labelling information to say whether animal feed includes genetically modified ingredients.

See more