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Little Concern for GM Animal Farms in Australia

30 January 2009

AUSTRALIA - The report, GM stockfeed in Australia: economic issues for producers and consumers, was released yesterday by Phillip Glyde, Executive Director, ABARE.

The report explores the key economic issues for supply chain participants associated with the use of stockfeed containing GM (genetically modified) ingredients and provides an indication of market acceptance of edible products from animals fed GM stockfeed (such as chicken meat, eggs, beef, sheep meat, pig meat, dairy products and live exports).

“The increasing adoption of GM crops has led to a greater presence in stockfeed mixes both here and overseas,” Mr Glyde said.

“The report found that there is little evidence of consumers in Australia and Australia’s major export markets rejecting meat, egg and dairy products from animals fed stockfeed containing GM ingredients,” Mr Glyde said.

However, consumer awareness of the current use of GM ingredients in stockfeed appears to be low both in cases. While the few studies conducted on consumer acceptance in Australia and the United States indicate some consumer aversion to consuming products from animals fed GM feed, there is no evidence to suggest this is lowering their demand.

“There are no mandatory labelling requirements or market access restrictions for meat, egg and dairy products from animals fed stockfeed containing GM ingredients either here or in our major export markets,” Mr Glyde added.

This is also the case in the European Union, which is regarded as having some of the strictest regulations on genetically modified organisms.

It is estimated that the chicken meat and egg industries are the most likely to include GM ingredients in their feed because of their high reliance on protein meals, such as imported soybean and canola meals.

Given current GM regulations, and degrees of consumer acceptance and awareness in Australia and its major livestock product export markets, it seems unlikely Australian livestock producers who choose to use GM feed will be disadvantaged.

“Other livestock industries may increase their intake of GM stockfeed in the future, as more varieties of GM crops are developed and commercialised,” Mr Glyde said.

In releasing the report, Mr Glyde acknowledged funding provided by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry under the recently concluded National Biotechnology Strategy.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.

ThePoultrySite News Desk



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