soybean field

Conversation at GOAL 2014 Conference Turns to Use of Soy in Aquaculture Feeds

Soy was an important topic at the Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA)’s 2014 Global Outlook on Aquaculture Leadership (GOAL) conference.  The conference, which was attended by about 300 seafood professionals and aquaculture stakeholders from around the world, was held from October 7-10 in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
A second day panel session, “Recommendations for Responsible Feed Production,” focused on the use of genetically modified (GM) soy in aquaculture feed.  USSEC Southeast Asia Technical Director – Aquaculture Lukas Manomaitis said that he did not see GM soy being an issue in the future even though, “Soy tends to get singled out when it comes to GM.”
He continued, “But a lot of vegetable based ingredients are genetically modified—GM crops are how we are going to feed the world in the future.”
Although many consumers are wary of anything GM, Mr. Manomaitis maintained, “GM fish are a completely different thing.  Crops are one thing, live animals are quite another.”
He explained that although it is possible to grow enough non-GM soy, it would be costly.  Currently, between 93 and 95 percent of the U.S. soy crop is GM, and although it is possible for U.S. farmers to produce non-GM soy, it would cost 25 to 50 percent more.
“In reality, the modern crop approach has to be GM.”