European Parliament

Feeding animal by-products

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The European Union plans to relax the ban on feeding animal products. The Commission presented details in mid-March at a hearing of the Environment Committee in the European Parliament. Head of Unit Eric Thévenard reported that the feeding of pork to poultry and poultry meat to pigs is to be made possible again. This has been prohibited since the BSE crisis 20 years ago. In addition, the feeding of insect meal was to be allowed.
MEP Jens Gieseke (CDU) had called on the Commission months ago to speed up this initiative considerably. Accordingly, the MEP from Lower Saxony was pleased about the current developments: “The relaxations are right and long overdue. We cannot talk about the Green Deal and the circular economy and at the same time leave valuable animal proteins unused.”

According to the Commission, there has not been a case of BSE in Europe for years. The planned regulations are also based on scientific recommendations of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Ruminants are explicitly not intended for the relaxation. And so, with appropriate control mechanisms, no health risks were seen.

Gieseke clarified: “I assume that the Member States will support the initiative. The use of insect meal is particularly positive.” He is counting on companies to move forward courageously now. With the use of processed animal by-products and insect meal, the EU could also reduce imports of soya, for example.

Support was shown by EPP group colleagues and liberals in the committee. Social Democrats and Greens, on the other hand, were sceptical and announced opposition to the initiative. Gieseke: “Some want to shape European policy on the basis of assumptions and with bans. We are relying on science and innovation.”
After approval by the member states, the legal act will probably be submitted to the Parliament in April. There will then be the possibility to veto the draft.