Where supermarkets stand on GM food
Date: Tuesday 21 October 2003 10:29 pm
Now that the GM Debate is over, Supermarkets are deciding their policy on products from GM-fed animals. The BBC has done a quick survey of their policies. The responses below do not, in most cases, cover the key issue of GM animal feed - especially for dairy products. The Co-op and Marks & Spencer have given clear promises not to sell produce from GM-fed animals. Sainsbury's and Waitrose may now soon follow them, especially if encouraged. Several other are 'working towards this' but there seems to have been little real movement in some cases. Time to ask ask them when they're going to catch up with the Co-op and M&S. Contact details at end.
Where supermarkets stand on GM food
BBC News Online
Tuesday, 21 October, 2003, 15:34 GMT 16:34 UK
With the Co-op's decision to refuse to grow GM crops on its 85,000 acres of land, the pressure is growing on supermarkets to clarify their position on GM foods. BBC News Online asked some of the biggest chains in the country what their policies were.
Safeway removed GM soya and maize ingredients from its own brand products in 1999. Customers have the choice in certain products to buy non-GM fed alternatives - organic meats, non-GM fed chicken, organic milk and eggs. It does not intend to "interfere" with the arrangements that branded manufacturers have regarding the sourcing of ingredients for their products. Safeway's aim is to eventually offer customers all animal derived products from non-GM fed sources.
Sainsbury's said that in response to "overwhelming customer concern and demand for non-GM foods" it was the first major supermarket to eliminate GM ingredients from all its own-brand products. All Sainsbury's own-brand products are labelled to inform customers that they are GM-free.
Waitrose does not sell under the Waitrose label any products which contain or are derived from genetically modified crops. This includes any oils or additives.
Tesco - the UK's biggest supermarket chain - says it already has non-GM feed for poultry and fish, and its organic meat range is from animals fed entirely on non-GM feed.
Asda says its position on GM has not changed since 1998 when it announced its intention to remove GM protein and protein derivatives from all ASDA own-label products. This was completed by October 1999. During the changeover period, the company labelled all products which contained GM ingredients or derivatives. ASDA says it continues to "listen closely to our customers on this issue".
Morrisons has also removed GM ingredients from all of its own-label products.
The Co-op - Britain's biggest farmer - has pledged not to grow GM crops, has banned selling GM food under its own brand products, and will not invest customers' money in GM technology.
Does your supermarket sell produce from GM-fed animals?
- for own brand dairy products etc (The Customer Enquiry numbers are generally free)
T:0500 100 055
F:0113 241 8666
[email via www.asda.co.uk/ ]
Asda House, Gt Wilson St, Leeds LS11 5AD
T:01244 842 842
F: 01244 842531
-Iceland Customer Services,
Second Avenue, Deeside Industrial Park, Deeside, Flintshire CH5 2NW
T:01622 712 899 / 987
F:020 8561 7435
Safeway plc, 6 Millington Road, Hayes, Middx UB3 4AY
T:0800 636 262
F:020 7695 7610
J Sainsbury plc, Stamford House, Stamford Street, London SE1 9LL
T:0117 935 6669
F: 0117 978 0629
[email via www.somerfield.co.uk ]
Somerfield House, Whitchurch Lane, Bristol, BS14 0TJ
T:0800 50 55 55
-Tesco Customer Services,
Tesco House, PO Box 18, Delamare Road, Cheshunt, Herts EN8 9SL
T:0800 188 884
-Waitrose Customer Services,
Southern Industrial Area, Bracknell, Berks RG12 8YA