DEFRA Questions: Farming Industry

Neil Parish raises the concerns of pig and poultry farmers who rely heavily on imported feed and calls for achievable thresholds for imported non-GM feed.Neil Parish (Tiverton and Honiton) (Con): What steps her Department is taking to assist the farming industry to become more competitive. [21664]The Minister of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Mr James Paice): I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave a few moments ago.Neil Parish: This country has a highly competitive pig and poultry industry that is completely unsubsidised and relies heavily on imported feed. Will the Minister assure us that we can get a greater threshold when allowing imports of non-genetically modified feed into the country, otherwise we will export our industry abroad?Mr Paice: My hon. Friend makes an important point. Discussions are taking place in Europe about the threshold for the import of GM soya, predominantly, which is what he is talking about, and I can assure him that we will be taking a constructive view to those negotiations. Quite clearly it would be pointless to deprive our livestock sector of something in a way that simply means we import more livestock products that have been fed on GM food.| Hansard