Is the baby food you buy really non-GM? Greenpeace offers online advice
GREENPEACE PRESS RELEASE
8th March, 2001.
Greenpeace today released a guide to which baby food brands are fully non-GM. The guide, which is part of Greenpeace's Shoppers Guide to GM, can be accessed online or by sending a SAE to Greenpeace.
None of the baby food on sale in the UK directly contains GM ingredients. However it can contain products, such as cheese, eggs or meat, from animals fed on GM feed.
Baby foods which were found to be fully non-GM include the entire Boots own-brand range and all organic ranges, such as Baby Organix, Cow and Gate Olvarit Organic, Hipp Baby Food and Kallo rusks.
Brands who are striving to eliminate GM fed animal products from their baby-food, but cannot currently state that they are fully non-GM include Cow and Gate, Heinz and SMA Nutrition (excluding their organic ranges).
Only Superdrug and Danone baby yoghurts have not yet made a commitment to Greenpeace to eliminate GM fed animal products from their baby-food.
Emma Gibson of Greenpeace explained, "At the moment it is impossible for people who don't want to buy GM, for environmental, ethical or health reasons, to tell whether they are buying products which use GM crops in some part of the production process."
She continued, "If a product contains GM soya, tomatoes or maize it has to be labelled, but if a product comes from animals fed on GM crops it is not."
"This definitive guide aims to expose the GM which is being hidden from us and provide advice for those people who want to avoid it. Parents have a right to know what they are feeding their children and the right to say no to GM."
A recent NOP poll commissioned by Greenpeace this September found that more than two thirds of the British public didn't want farm animals to be fed GM crops. And an overwhelming 90% wanted products from animals fed on GM crops to be clearly labelled.
Almost every major supermarket has now made moves to remove ingredients from animals fed on GM crops, but most food companies have yet to follow suit.
The Greenpeace guide lists over a thousand products. Top food brands are coded red if they are positive for GM, yellow if companies or products currently use GM in animal feed but are committed to removing it, and green for products that are non-GM.
People with internet access can visit a virtual supermarket through the Greenpeace website http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/gm.htm. They can then choose
a virtual shopping aisle such as dairy or frozen foods to get lists of relevant products and their GM status. Free printed copies of the webguide are also available, to receive one send a 31p A4 SAE to Shoppers Guide, Greenpeace, Canonbury Villas, London N1 2PN.
Background briefings on the use of GM crops in animal feed are available. For more information go to the Greenpeace UK website at
http://www.greenpeace.org,uk/gm.htm or call the Greenpeace press office on 0207 865 8255/6/7.
Background statistics on baby food:
Source: FSA (Flackett Stevens & Associates Ltd). Their data comes from 36,000 mothers with babies up to 30 months old in England, Scotland and Wales. All data is in sterling and annual up to the end of December 2000.
1. The total baby food market is now worth £168.6million, and has grown +3.1% in the last year.
2. Brands' shares are as follows:
Heinz - 50.6% (-2.1% versus the previous year)
Hipp Organic - 13.6% (+77.1%)
Cow & Gate standard - 8.8% (-18.8%)
Baby Organix - 6.5% (+7.3%)
Olvarit Organic - 6.5% (+7.3%)
Boots own - 5.5% (-13.3%)
Milupa - 2.2% (-53.1%)
3. The value sales of the organic brands in the last year is £42.2million, that's £16.5million more than the previous year, ie. +64%. They now comprise 25% of total value sales of baby food.