Germany demands GM-free animal feed

September 2014

Photo of people dressed as chickens protest GM animal feed
Photo by Greenpeace
In April 2013, four major UK supermarkets announced, in concert, that their poultry products would no longer come from livestock fed GM-free feed [1].

The move followed a direct approach to supermarkets from one large soya supplier which had decided to discontinue its non-GM soya line. This was shortly followed by an appeal to retailers from major farmers' representatives for a lifting of the ban on GM feed. The reasons given were cost and a shortage of supplies.

'ABRANGE' (the Association of Non-GM grain producers) and organisations in Brazil refuted any such 'shortage' of non-GM soya: Brazil had just produced a bumper harvest. The cited reduced availability and increased cost were affecting all soya, and were due to shipping infrastructure issues which were clearly temporary.

A more obvious explanation for the sudden supermarket volte-face seems to be a bit of stage-management to open the UK to imports of US soya and to make it a Trojan Horse for entry of more GM feed into Europe.

In due course, the German Poultry Association (ZDG) followed Britain's lead and announced it would stop using GM-free feed, citing shortages (which still didn't exist) and legal uncertainty because of gene-pollution (a new-found and convenient lack of trust in the suppliers, the regulators and the science, which doesn't seem to extend to any lack of trust in the safety of the GM products they want used).

Unlike the UK supermarkets who obediently bowed to everyone except their customers, the German supermarkets did their homework. Consultation with the Brazilian authorities made it clear the ZDG excuses didn't stand up.

Accordingly, German supermarkets have demanded a return to non-GM feed for poultry, starting from January 1st 2015.

Most interestingly, ZDG has formally retracted its claim of insufficient availability of non-GM soya.


Tell the four big supermarkets they have been the victims of a confidence trick over the supposed need to feed poultry GM soya, and that you expect them to reverse their decision for implementation by 1st January 2015.

You can contact them through their websites:

Marks & Spencer -

Sainsburys -

Co-operative -

Tesco -




  • German supermarket giants demand poultry industry returns to non-GMO feed, Global GMO-Free Coalition, 2.09.14
  • Enough GMO-free soy available,AllAboutFeed, 25.02.14
  • Michail Hogan, Germany GMO soybeans, Reuters24.02.14

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