The ProTerra Foundation, along with the Brazilian Association of Non Genetically Modified Grain Producers (ABRANGE) and Association Food without Genetic Engineering (VLOG), say GMO-free soy from Brazil for the European animal feed industry is available in sufficient tonnage and quality, contrary to claims made by the German Poultry Association (ZDG) in recent press releases.
ZDG recently acknowledged the exit from using non-genetically modified soybean meal in feed by the PHW Group (Wiesenhof), the Rothkötter Group (Emsland Frischgeflügel) and other German poultry fatteners based upon the shrinking supply of GMO-free material from Brazil. A few days later, the German Egg Association (BDE) announced the exit from non-GMO feed by some of the egg producers.
According to agricultural analysts from Brazil, the availability of GMO-free soybeans is increasing rapidly, as Ricardo Tatesuzi de Sousa, managing director of ABRANGE, explains: "Compared to the previous season, this season the Brazilian farmers produced 10 percent more non-GM soy. Forecasts for the biggest soy-producing state, Mato Grosso, predict even an increase of 50 percent more over 2013."
The volume and quality of GMO-free soybean seeds are increasing each year through the successful work of the Soja Livre Program, according to a press release. For the export of the 2014 crop, more container shipment will be implemented from March on. This means the significant logistical bottlenecks experienced in the Brazilian bulk terminals are bypassed. Exporters are finding that non-GMO soybeans and soybean meal can be transported to Europe faster in this way - and at a reduced contamination risk by GMO soy.
"It is sheer irony that the ZDG should make such an announcement when many sector initiatives in GMO-free Brazilian soybean production in Brazil are bearing fruit," says Augusto Freire, president of the ProTerra Foundation.
According to a representative survey conducted by Germany's Emnid poll in January 2014, 75 percent of consumers consider it important to find the label of an "Ohne Gentechnik" (no genetic engineering) product on a product. "For only 8 cents extra cost per chicken, Wiesenhof & Co. could give consumers what they want - poultry meat labeled 'Ohne Gentechnik,'" explains Alexander Hissting, spokesman of VLOG. "If someone claims that GMO-free feeding is not possible, it is because he doesn't want it to be possible."