A farming conference said that the meat sold at British supermarkets comes from animals which are raised on Genetically Modified feeds. Farmers said that over 80 per cent of cattle grub is modified. Most of the meat sold in supermarkets and restaurants including McDonalds are sourced from cows raised on GM crops. This was revealed in the National Farmers’ Union conference held in Birmingham.
Delegates were informed that 80 per cent of maize and soya beans, the main feed for cattle were now 80 per cent GM. ‘We find it convenient not to make a big noise about it,’ said David Hughes, professor of food marketing at Imperial College London. Peter Melchett, of the Soil Association, said that the animals in UK should be given home-grown peas and beans instead of imported crops. “When you buy a steak how do you know what the animal has been fed on? “It could’ve been fed on Welsh grass or Brazilian soya, which is GM. No one is going to tell you. “If it’s so wonderful, let people choose,” he included.
Connor McVeigh of McDonald’s told the conference that the fast food chain sold beef from cows raised on GM crops. He said it was becoming increasingly difficult to source non-GM feed within their supply chain. However he suggested that families did not want GM ingredients though. The big supermarkets said customers could avoid GM exposure only if they bought organic.
Having said, the Food Standards Agency said that GM feed does not posses any more risk to farmed livestock than conventional feed. There was uproar in 2013 when big stores abandoned a pledge to ensure their farm animals supplying meat, milk and eggs would be reared on a GM-free diet.