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Finnish Ministers Stir Up GM Meat Debate

by 5m Editor
31 August 2007, at 11:05am

FINLAND - Politicians in Finland are stoking debate over labelling of meat products from animals fed with genetically-modified feed, in the interests of consumer rights.

Under European Union regulations meat from animals fed imported GM feed does not need to be labelled as GM and the feed origin does not need to be identified.

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"Consumers must have the right to know how, and with what sort of feed, meat is produced,"

agriculture minister Sirkka-Liisa Anttilahat

But when, this month, two Finnish meat producers, LSO Foods and Lounais-farmi, declared their intention to import GM soybeans for use as pig feed, agriculture minister Sirkka-Liisa Anttilahat of the Suomen Keskusta party called on the food industry to label use of GM feed on meat products.

"Consumers must have the right to know how, and with what sort of feed, meat is produced," she said.

According to Finnish news sources trade and industry minister has also mooted the idea of a working group to address labelling of meat from animals not raised on genetically modified feed, amongst other issues.

A voluntary system would, he said, create a chain of trust between the farmer, the industry and retailers.

A recent survey by newspaper Helsingin Sanomat found that half of Finns "completely disapprove" of GM feed, and more than 90 per cent agree that meat from GM-reared animals should be labelled as such.

However the meat companies' decision to shift to GM soy is understandable from a financial point of view. There is already a gulf between the cost of non-GM and GM soy, and that gulf is continuing to grow as more and more soy producers in Brazil switch to GM varieties.

Source: foodproductiondaily.com

5m Editor