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GM varieties hold the key

by 5m Editor
13 September 2007, at 12:16pm

“This whole thing goes away if European consumers and politicians will accept GM crops,“ said compounder Peter Rollings at yesterday’s NPA Producer Group meeting. The session was dominated by feed cost and foot and mouth issues.

As the wheat crisis ricochets around the world, his view is gathering what some hope will prove to be an unstoppable momentum.

European consumers have been quick to say “We don’t want GM foods” but in a few months they will have to reconsider their position, or say “We don’t want GM foods... and we are quite prepared to pay 25 percent more”.

Professor Jimmy Burke, head of Crops Research Centre in Ireland, says the European union's decision not to approve the maize variety Herculex has had serious implications - forcing feed importers to pay inflated prices for scarce supplies of non-GM material.

Some arable farmers are beginning to show concern about who will buy their grain in years to come if the pig and poultry industries dramatically downsize.

"Numerous farmers are worried about this," said Nottinghamshire producer Des Allen, at yesterday's NPA Producer Group meeting. "I am getting quite a few phone calls about it."

5m Editor