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News 381 views last update:Nov 22, 2007

Lobby group highlights GM feed in pork

In the UK, most pork, milk and dairy products are produced from animals that have been fed on genetically modified (GM) crops. These products are not labelled.

Such is the conclusion of a study by the Soil Association, an organic lobby group and the certification organisation for organic food and farming.

GM-fed pigs
New scientific evidence, revealed in the report, indicates that small amounts of GM DNA end up in the animal tissues and milk of GM-fed pigs and other animals. "This is contrary to assurances by the Food Standards Association," says the report. The effects of such GM DNA are alarming - "lesions in the gut, unexplained deaths and stunted offspring growth".

60% of the maize and 30% of the soya used in feed by pig and dairy farmers originates from GM crops - the study found. In addition, it highlighted the fact that most supermarkets are permitting the use of GM feed in their meat supplies. "None of this food is labelled correctly as genetically modified due to a loophole in the law," the association commented.

Track-and trace
Pressure may be put on supermarkets to pursue an anti-GM policy, which, in turn could force pork and dairy processors to enforce a track-and-trace system for their meat.

The UK retailer Marks & Spencer is purported to be "ahead of the rest" due to its policy of only sourcing its fresh meat and milk from non-GM fed animals.

The Soil Association is calling for public action to prevent the use of GM in animal feed.

Related website:

• Soil Association

• Food Standards Association

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