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News 361 views last update:Feb 6, 2008

Germany: Pig market crisis blamed on GM opponents

The current difficulties in the German pig sector are attributed to government opposition to genetically modified (GM) feedstuffs, according to a representative of German opposition party, the Free Democratic Party (FDP).

Hans-Michael Goldmann, agriculture spokesman for the FDP, commented in a press statement that the problems on the German pig market are partly "home-made" as the government's "anti-innovation policy" is blocking biotechnology in Germany and Europe with inevitable consequences for feed prices.

He stated further that for Germany's main EU competitors, feed costs are lower due to the use of new GM varieties. In addition, he believes that German pig production laws are a hindrance and pig farmers should be allowed to feed their animals with animal fats and feeds made from animal protein.

On January 25, the Bundestag (German parliament) approved a draft Biotechnology Law stating the criteria for labelling products as GM-free and the conditions for growing GM crops. The German Farmers' Union (DBV) is advising its members to refrain from growing GM crops as yet because of uncertainties until the legislation has come into force.

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