Consumers don't like GM animal feed
URGENT - TAKE ACTION: Tell Asda to stay GM free
TWO THIRDS WANT GM TO BE KEPT OFF THEIR PLATE - NEW OPINION POLL
Friends of the Earth and GM Freeze press release
Two thirds of people in the UK want GM crops to be kept out of the food chain a new GFK NOP survey for Friends of the Earth and GM Freeze reveals today (Saturday, 12 June 2010).
The survey also revealed that:
* Less than 40% were aware that GM is currently creeping onto their plates via imported GM animal feed being fed to animals in British factory farms
* while there is currently no requirement for retailers to identify animal products containing GM to consumers, 89 per cent of those surveyed wanted these products to be clearly labelled
* 72 per cent would pay extra for non-GM food
The survey follows news that US-owned food retailer Asda has abandoned its commitment to GM-free eggs and poultry. The campaigning groups are calling on Asda and other supermarkets to respond to public opinion by pledging to keep GM out of the nation's meat and dairy.
Friends of the Earth's food campaigner Kirtana Chandrasekaran said:
"Despite a huge PR push by the former Government, consumers are more sceptical than ever about genetic modification, and want to be able to choose food that's guaranteed to be GM free.
"By abandoning its commitment to GM-free animal feed for chickens and sneaking GM onto its customers' plates, Asda is going against shoppers' wishes and funding animal feed plantations that are wiping out South American rainforests.
"People should tell supermarkets and their MPs to protect our food and farming from GM, and to support planet-friendly farming instead."
Pete Riley GM Freeze said:
"These results send a very clear message to government and retailers that any weakening of policies on the import and use of GM feed will not be welcomed by the public.
"They are demanding that there should be a clear non-GM choice and are willing to pay more for it.
"Despite the rhetoric from industry and government about the possible benefits of GM crops the British public appears to remain very sceptical.
"Proposals from the Food Standards Agency to spend hundreds of thousands pounds of taxpayers' money on a GM public dialogue in a crude attempt to shift public opinion on GM should now be scrapped".
Notes to Editors
1. People canask the supermarkets to stay GM freeat http://www.foe.co.uk/campaigns/biodiversity/press_for_change/asda_rolls_back_on_gm_23592.html
2. According to a survey of 1,000 adultsin the UKcarried out by GFK NOP onFriday 4 to Sunday 6June:
§ 41% don't know that animals are fed on GM animal feed
§ 66% would like to buy meat and dairy from animals fed non-GM diet.
§ 63% want supermarkets to only supply products with non-GM feed
§ 89% want clear labelling of GM fed animals
§ 72% would be willing to pay a premium (2pper kilo ) for non GM feed
3. This result shows how public opposition to the use of GM ingredients in animal feed has increased since an identical poll in 2006. Then only 50% of people opted to avoid GM feed.
4. Friends of the Earth and GM Freeze are concerned that the model of industrial agriculture that GM crops are based on, which includes monoculture plantations of one crop, heavy use of chemicals and expensive patented seeds and technology are not appropriate for the vast majority of farmers in the world. They are pushing for more ecological farming methods which have broader environmental and socio-economic benefits which can reduce hunger and produce more food more effectively. Their concerns are in line with the most extensive farming research ever conducted,2008's IAASTD Agricultural Assessment, which showed no clear role for GM crops.
5. Friends of the Earth believes the environment is for everyone. We want a healthy planet and a good quality of life for all those who live on it. We inspire people to act together for a thriving environment. Over 90 per cent of our income comes from individuals so we rely on donations to continue our vital work. For further information visit www.foe.co.uk.
Contact: Nicky Stocks, Friends of the Earth press office, 0207 566 1649 Pete Riley 07903 341065