Traces of GMO halt US-EU soy trade

It doesn't take export bans to throw a wrench in the smooth workings of the world food market:
European trade sources said US soya shipments to Spain and Germany were found to have traces of GMO maize varieties which are prohibited in the EU.

Mattias Sundholm told the Reuters news agency: "The shipments have been rejected at the EU borders, and have been consigned and recalled when already on the market within the EU, unless they have already been consumed."

The US Grain and Feed Trade Association estimates that 200,000 tonnes of US soya had been denied entry to the EU, by mid-July. Given the uncertainty, international traders have ceased all further shipments.

This has raised concerns about supplies of key feed ingredients for European livestock.
A simple mistake (or was it?) has the potential to disrupt the flow in a way that has systemic consequences, which is worth bearing in mind when thinking about the future of where food will be produced vs. consumed. It's easy to dismiss food self-sufficiency schemes in a globalized world, but the past two years have shown us how rapidly trade can break down, and that caution is warranted.

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