European Commission Accepts GM Rapeseed Oil for Feed Use
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The European Commission (EC) approved the import and use of various genetically modified Rapeseed Oil for feed and feed processing. The authorization was set in force on February 22nd of the current year. Likewise, the agency extended an authorization for the use of a genetically modified strain of Soybeans. Both authorizations and renewals have a duration of 10 years. As protocol indicates, both crops underwent a rigorous evaluation process intending to safeguard human and animal health. As well as assessing potential environmental impacts associated with their production and analyzing how these can be mitigated.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is the governing body in charge of analyzing the information provided by the applicant (who applies for approval of a genetically modified crop). After a rigorous evaluation, the agency issues a statement where it communicates its decision regarding the application.
This statement authorizes the import and use of Rapeseed Oil and Soybean varieties for feeding and feed processing. However, it does not approve of their cultivation in European territory. According to current European legislation, applicants must present reliable information and evidence of the safety of their Rapeseed Oil and Soybean crops. Proving that these are safe regarding human, animal, and environmental health. The applicant takes on the cost of performing such tests.
Once all the information has been submitted, the Technical Commission on Genetically Modified Organisms proceeds to carry out a risk assessment. Based on the outcomes of this assessment, they may issue a favorable opinion regarding the application or a negative one in case it does not comply with their criteria. “The authorizations are valid for ten years, and any product manufactured from these genetically modified crops will be subjected to strict EU labeling and traceability regulations,” sources in Brussels said.
European Rapeseed and Sunflower Oil Use for Biofuels
Europe burns over 17,000 tons of Rapeseed and Sunflower Oil daily – the equivalent of 19 million bottles – a new Transport & Environment (T&E) study shows. This has contributed to spiraling food price rises and empty supermarket shelves after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. T&E has called on governments to prioritize food over fuel and end the use of crop biofuels now.
Maik Marahrens, the biofuels campaigner at T&E, said: “Supermarkets have had to ration vegetable Oils, and prices are soaring. At the same time, we are burning thousands of tonnes of Sunflower and Rapeseed Oil in our cars every day. In a time of scarcity, we must prioritize food over fuel.”
Ukraine accounts for 40% of the global Sunflower Oil exports and is Europe’s largest Rapeseed Oil supplier. Russia’s blockade of Ukrainian food exports is putting considerable pressure on supplies and, in turn, prices up to two and a half times higher than in previous years. In Germany, for example, cooking Oils are among the six food categories with the highest price increase.
This is exacerbated by the use of vegetable Oil in biofuels. 18% of the world’s vegetable Oil production goes to biodiesel. Nearly all of this is fit for human consumption. In recent years, Europe put 58% of all Rapeseed and 9% of all Sunflower Oil consumed in the region into its cars and trucks.
Maik Marahrens, the biofuels campaigner at T&E, concluded: “European Governments have used ‘green’ fuel laws to artificially push up demand for crop biofuels. They, therefore, have the instruments at hand to stop this. Policymakers should end support for food crop biofuels now and help to avoid a growing global food catastrophe.”
Other sources: NUTRINEWS
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