Concerns have arisen that if Icelandic dairy farmers use genetically modified feed for their cattle, the famed skyr will have to be labelled as being a GM product itself.
Vísir reports that MS Iceland Dairies exports 100 tonnes of skyr to Whole Foods in the US every year. The health food chain says that they will, within the next five years, begin labelling any food that involves the use of genetically modified (GM).
Oddný Anna Björnsdóttir, the managing director of the Icelandic health food store Yggdrasil, believes there is cause to worry. Representatives from Whole Foods recently visited Iceland, and she told reporters that current agricultural practices could spell trouble for Iceland.
“Five years from now, if MS exports skyr, it will be labelled as a GM food [at Whole Foods],” she said.
Oddný believes that this could damage Iceland’s image as a land of pure, untouched nature, and that the best recourse would be to “rid the industry of this [GM] feed, as ultimately, we want to be natural in our food production.”
MS director Einar Sigurðsson points out that 75% of Icelandic cattle consume hay that is grown domestically. Only 20% live on imported, possibly GM grain.