German poultry producers pressured to go GM-free

German egg and poultry producers are coming under pressure to return to feeding GM-free rations in 2015, reversing a decision made earlier this year.

The German Poultry Association (ZDG) abandoned a 14-year commitment to stay GM-free in February, citing problems with sourcing non-GM soya on the international market, and the risk of contamination in feed mills.

See also: UK retailers drop GM-free requirement

The move followed similar changes by UK and Danish egg and poultrymeat suppliers in 2013.

But it is understood that ZDG is now in talks with leading German supermarkets about a possible return to GM-free feed, starting with next year’s Brazilian soya harvest.

In an interview with German news website Lebensmittel Zeitung, ZDG chief executive Thomas Janning said the producer organisation was engaged in a joint study with the supermarkets, which still had to be reviewed.

While producers would not be “blackmailed” into returning to GM-free status, Mr Janning said ZDG was “not categorically against it”, if the working group concluded this was possible.

But retailers are said to be united in wanting GM-free feed to be the norm for all livestock, starting with poultry.

The move has been welcomed by anti-GM group the Global GMO Free Coalition, which says research has proven there is enough GM-free material in Brazil to meet Europe’s needs.

“The wool has been pulled over the eyes of retailers across Europe by the GMO industry over the past year,” said co-ordinator Henry Rowlands. “We welcome the news that they have started to fight back in the interests of their customers, who do not want to buy GM-fed eggs and meat.”

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