Other British supermarkets must follow suit and get GM out of animal feed

Today’s announcement from the UK supermarket Waitrose that it will use non-GM soy from Europe to raise its pork products is great news. Other British supermarkets must surely follow suit.

Anyone who heard the heart-rending stories from Argentine rural residents, a lawyer, and a doctor at the recent Monsanto Tribunal will know how important it is to wean Europe off GM soy animal feed.

The production of GM soy in that country and others in South America entails massive spraying with Roundup and other agrochemicals. The spraying is blamed for drastic increases in cancer, birth defects and other serious illnesses in rural people.

As long as we Europeans accept dairy and meat products raised with this soy, we are complicit in the suffering of the South American rural residents.

Find out how you can help get GM out of British supermarkets’ animal feed here:

1. COMMENT ON “Waitrose to responsibly source European soya in UK retailer first” – GM Freeze
2. The biggest blow against GM crops this century – Soil Association

1. COMMENT ON “Waitrose to responsibly source European soya in UK retailer first”

GM Freeze, 1 November 2016

Waitrose’s announcement that their pork products will now be fed non-GM European soya comes just ten days after umbrella group GM Freeze launched a campaign highlighting the use of GM animal feed by UK supermarkets ( Waitrose already scores better than their competitors in the Feed me the Truth Five-Star Standard and this change will increase their lead.

Welcoming Waitrose’s announcement, GM Freeze Director Liz O’Neill said, “Consumers have been telling us for years that they don’t want GM anywhere in the food supply chain. However, the widespread use of GM animal feed is hidden from view because it doesn’t have to be mentioned on the label of the meat, eggs and dairy products it helps to produce. When challenged, the supermarkets claim that it is too difficult to make a change but Waitrose have proved that simply isn’t true. Now it’s time for the rest to Feed us the Truth and give their customers food that is produced responsibly, fairly, and sustainably.”

2. The biggest blow against GM crops this century

Soil Association, 1 November 2016

The Soil Association is delighted at Waitrose’s decision to start using non-GM soya from Europe in animal feed for their meat and dairy products – marking the beginning of the end of the last large-scale use of GM crops in the UK.

This is the most significant move in the UK against the use of GM crops since 1999, when British supermarkets took the 70% of processed food that contained GM off their shelves, with it never to return. On that occasion the way was led by one retailer (Iceland), which went non-GM, and the rest followed within a few months.

While European players including France’s Carrefour, the third biggest retailer in the world, German retailers and the German Poultry Association (ZDG), have continued to move away from GM feed, British supermarkets - apart from Waitrose - have actually increased their use of GM animal feed, despite widespread public opposition.

All UK supermarkets still sell meat and dairy products from animals fed on imported GM soya and GM maize – which they are not required to label under EU law. Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, GM Freeze, and the Soil Association have opposed this large-scale but hidden use of GM crops for over 15 years.

Waitrose is currently the only retailer in the UK that has committed to continuing to use non-GM poultry feed and to start using non-GM soya in other animal feed.

Peter Melchett, Soil Association Policy Director said: ‘We warmly welcome this very important development. GM soya from Latin America is linked to rainforest destruction, so sourcing non-GM soya from the Danube region, and using more UK-grown protein crops, is good for the climate, good for UK farmers, and good for consumers. We expect other retailers to follow Waitrose’s lead.’

A Soil Association briefing on GM animal feed is available on the Soil Association website.