Danish organic feed tests find GMOs


WASHINGTON – Since Jan. 1, 2001, the Danish Plant Directorate under the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries has been quietly testing organic feed for GMOs. The results of the most recent test of organic feed was published Aug. 1, 2001.

According to the USDA, almost half of the samples revealed GMO content.

The Danish authorities interpret the European Union organic feed regulations as not allowing GMOs. Danish organic feed is required to be entirely organic; previous regulations allowed up to 25 percent conventional feed.

Organic feed sampled from eight Danish feed companies revealed traces of GMOs in 20 samples out of a total of 48. The representative for the Danish Organic Service Center stated that it is unavoidable that GMOs would be found in organic soybeans, since they are transported in the same ships which transport conventional beans.

Get tough. As most organic feed ingredients are imported, Ritt Bjerregaard, the Danish minister of food, agriculture and fisheries, has written to her European colleagues to encourage them to intensify their controls. The Netherlands allows up to 1 percent of GMOs in their organic feed and although Sweden has a zero tolerance level, they do not randomly test organic feeds for GMOs.

The minister wants to change legislation in order to be able to publish the names of the companies, and by that force them to be more cautious and eager to secure GMO free organic feed.

The feed producers, on the other hand, have stopped selling organic feed at fixed prices until a threshold is accepted.

As a follow-up to a previous sample, the ministry is now planning another series of random samples for food containing soybeans and corn products.

Labeling missing. The survey from February to July, 2000, disclosed that one-third of all products contained more than 1 percent GMO and none of these were labeled, as required. Ten percent of all products tested had a GMO content above 3 percent.

Labeling of approved GMOs is mandatory if the GMO content is above 1 percent.

The results of this new survey will be published before Jan. 1, 2002.


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