GMO

EU halts imports of US-based corn gluten feed due to GMO contamination

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: animal feed, GMOs, contamination

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(NaturalNews) The European Union (EU) has rejected roughly one million tons of US-based corn gluten feed, a leftover byproduct of corn processing that is commonly fed to conventional livestock, over concerns that it might be tainted with illegal genetically-modified organisms (GMO). Unlike the US, the EU still has at least some standards when it comes to GMOs, and has typically been much slower to adopt them compared to countries in North and South America.

Reuters Africa reports that corn gluten shipments into the EU have basically stopped as a result of contamination concerns, and that many traders are now trying to figure out a solution. However, the report slants the issue and blames EU restrictions, rather than the US tainted food supply, for the ordeal, and suggests that the EU needs to loosen its standards to keep the supplies going.

The EU has already capitulated to heavy pressure from the biotechnology industry and its advocate countries like the US to fast-track GMO approval. And even though EU labeling requirements for GMOs have largely eliminated them from the food supply -- when given the choice, of course, the vast majority of people will choose non-GMO foods. GMOs still sneak their way into the European food supply via an animal feed loophole.

In fact, the EU Commission recently decided to end its zero tolerance policy for GMOs because, frankly, it is near-impossible to avoid GMO contamination these days, especially when the imported goods are coming from the US. So even though Europeans resoundingly oppose GMOs, they are still exposed to them every time they eat meat from a conventionally-raised animal (http://www.naturalnews.com/031977_GMOs_food_chain.html).

But in the case of the tainted corn gluten feed, the contamination in question comes from a certain type of GM corn, Syngenta's MIR162 Agrisure Viptera variety, which has not yet received EU approval. Only 37 GM crops have been approved for import into the EU, and MIR162 is not one of them, as EU standards for approval are much more stringent than they are in the US.

But rather than loosen its standards as many are demanding, the EU would do better to preserve its own food supply by looking for new corn gluten vendors in nations that have not capitulated to the demands of the biotechnology industry. The only way to end the expanding tyranny of GM food is for countries that oppose them to stop trading with the countries that cultivate them.

Sources for this article include:

http://af.reuters.com/article/commoditiesNews/idAFL6E7NK21P20111221

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