How swede is it?



Cows with a ‘swede’ tooth may need to love another feed following a DairyNZ report. Findings show herbicide tolerant (HT) swedes contain high levels of toxins, leading to deaths, Green Party GE spokesperson, Steffan Browning, says.
“Dairy New Zealand is telling farmers to stop feeding HT swedes to cows in spring when in late pregnancy or early lactation, but we want to see use stop altogether.
“HT swedes have been developed using technology similar to genetic engineering so they can be sprayed with chlorsulfuron, a herbicide that has been banned in China. The technology is unregulated and has led to cow deaths.”
The Government has “fobbed off” responsibility, leaving plant sample testing to an industry body when it should have managed intensive testing on animal and plant samples itself, he adds.
“We want the Government to investigate what effect chlorsulfuron is having on cows; eating plants sprayed with it will have implications for the cow’s health and that of consumers drinking their milk. Farmers deserve recompense from the Government, which allowed this to happen, and from the swede producer, PGG Wrightson.”
Minister of Primary Industries, Nathan Guy, says it is the responsibility of fodder crop sellers to ensure feed is fit for purpose.
“This was a regional incident with a range of contributing factors. As there was no one cause, a blanket ban was not the solution,” he says “Farmers should apply caution when feeding brassica fodder crops, and follow Dairy New Zealand advice regarding transitioning, plant maturity, and timing when feeding swedes.”

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