Cost of producing GM-free dairy products is 'prohibitive'
The costs of producing dairy products free of all genetically modified-feed are "prohibitive" for the industry, it has been warned.
Conor Mulvihill from the Irish Dairy Industries Association said the current main issues that are dominating discussions continue to be Brexit and the sustainability agenda.
However, he said at European level there are some trends moving towards organic, grassfed and GMO-free.
Mr Mulvihill said they have been holding discussions with bodies across Europe and with Bord Bia and Teagasc in Ireland.
"It is a commercial issue but the costs at present from an Irish perspective don't return it yet," he said, adding it was possible as long as a total Ireland Inc approach was adopted. "The costs are quite prohibitive."
Mr Mulvihill pointed out there were added financial costs involved from the replacement of soya, as well as maize, from South American countries where GM-seed is used. Processes would have to implemented at ports to ensure no cross-contamination, he pointed out.
He said the tolerance levels were low in Ireland and it has to be certified at dairy plant level, while GMO-free milk would have to be processed and collected separately.