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HAMBURG, Feb 24 (Reuters) - Soybeans that are free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are available in growing volumes, despite claims by German poultry producers that supplies are falling, three associations that support GMO-free crops and trade said.
German poultry and egg producers said last week they had given up on a promise to consumers to avoid feeding birds with soy containing GMOs because of lower supplies of GMO-free soybeans, especially from Brazil.
"According to agricultural analysts from Brazil, the availability of GMO-free soybeans is increasing rapidly," the ProTerra Foundation; the Brazilian association of non-GMO grain producers ABRANGE; and VLOG, a German association for GMO-free food, said in a joint statement on Monday.
"Compared to the previous season, this season Brazilian farmers produced 10 percent more non-GM soy," ABRANGE Managing Director Ricardo Tatesuzi said in the statement. "Forecasts for the biggest soy-producing state, Mato Grosso, predict even an increase of 50 percent more over 2013."
The sea-borne export of Brazil's 2014 soybean crop, which is now being harvested, will involve the transport of an increasing volume of non-GMO soybeans by container instead of in bulk carriers from March 2014, they said.
This will reduce the risk of cross-contamination with remains of GMO crops shipped previously on the same vessel, the three associations said.
Germany is one of the European Union's largest poultry meat producers, producing about 1.5 million tonnes of the total EU output of 11.7 million tonnes in 2013. (Reporting by Michael Hogan; editing by Jane Baird)