Good news on GM free feed in New Zealand (13/1/2005)

1.Information on GM free feed in New Zealand
2.Background: KFC bullies + Poll shows 80 % of KFC customers willing to pay more for non-GE feed

1.Information on GE free feed in New Zealand
Greens Parliamentary Research Office, New Zealand
11 Jan 2005

In a news item in the Waikato Times, chief executive Vicki Salmons stated that KFC is "committed" to continue using GE-free soy from Inghams Enterprises LTD "as long as world supply enabled it to". (See: http://

The Inghams website states in its newly changed Genetic Engineering Policy:

"Inghams is committed to continuing to source non-GM ingredients for its poultry products. We will use our best endeavours to source non-GM ingredients for poultry feeds - such raw materials must meet our quality standards, be available in substantial quantities and be economically sustainable. Our policy also includes a commitment to our customers that they would always be advised before any changes to the above." http://www.inghams.co.nz/v2/default.asp?pageID=232

Due to pressure from Greenpeace (particularly their succesful campaign against McDonalds) and the continuing effort by the GE Free movement and the public, Inghams had temporarily sourced non-GE feed for it's chickens. Inghams had a history of importing GE soy feed for it's chickens.

More recently, Greenpeace, Auckland GenetiX Action and other grassroots groups throughout the country began a campaign against KFC who had recently switched to Ingham from Tegel (who has had a commitment to a GE Free policy for it's chicken feed for some time).

A succesful grassroots Day of Action around the country saw actions in Taupo, Rotorua, Timaru, Auckland, Hamilton, Huntly, Wellington, Christchurch and Australia at KFC outlets and Inghams Head Quarters (see http://www.stop-inghams-ge.org). In Auckland, Auckland GenetiX Action (AGA) held weekly noisy and fun demonstrations at KFC outlets around Auckland aswell as occuping the KFC HQ office.

Greenpeace re-started their campaign against KFC, holding demos often everyday of the week in Auckland and had held actions throughout the country. (See http://www.greenpeace.org.nz)

More recently an anonymous underground group called the 'Finger Stick in Glue Crew' glued shut the locks of 10 KFC outlets causing thousands of dollars damage.

Inghams commitment to continuing sourcing GE Free feed is a success for activists, all New Zealanders, our environment, the rights of animals and the countries where GE Soy would have been sourced.

Constant pressure from the public works and the pressure must continue. It is only due to the efforts of people like yourselves that protect the rights of individuals, animals and the environment from the interests of profit and multi-nationals. We must continue to RECLAIM THE COMMONS!

Chris Teo-Sherrell
Greens Parliamentary Research Office
13.06 Bowen House (temporarily 17.05 Bowen House)
Wellington/Te Whanganui-A-Tara
tel. /waea 04-470-6767
fax./waea whakaahua 04-472-7116
[email protected]

2.KFC bullies media + Poll shows 80 % of KFC customers willing to pay more for non-GE feed
Monday, November 15, 2004

Greenpeace increased pressure on the kiwi icon of fast food chicken today by releasing a poll showing that the majority of KFC customers would prefer to eat Non-GE fed chicken and would be prepared to pay more for it.

The poll was released after two weeks of legal threats by KFC against news website Scoop for running Greenpeace banners linking to a spoof KFC website.

The poll, commissioned by Greenpeace in support of their campaign against GE soy, was conducted by research group Colmar Brunton in early October. It showed that an overwhelming 80% of KFC customers wouldn't mind paying an extra 2 cents for chicken fed on Non-genetically engineered soy (1).

Greenpeace financial analysis shows that it only costs two cents more per chicken to use GE free soy feed (2).

KFCs supplier Inghams, who have a history of feeding their chickens on GE soy from the US, have recently imported non-GE soy from Brazil but neither company is committed to this continuing. Greenpeace opposes GE crops because of the environmental risks and is campaigning for KFC to commit to using only non-GE fed chicken.

Scoop threatened

Within days of Greenpeace launching a spoof KFC website (www.kfc.org.nz), KFC lawyers made threats against the Scoop news site (www.scoop.co.nz) for posting a Greenpeace advertising banner linking to the spoof KFC web site.

"It is telling that KFC's lawyers have written to Scoop three times but haven't contacted Greenpeace directly at all," says Abel. "Rather than get into a public debate with Greenpeace they choose to try and shut down comment. Its a classic example of a SLAPP (5)," says Abel.

The spoof site contains alternative definitions of KFC submitted by the public which KFC allege are defamatory. But Greenpeace says the spoof KFC website represents a key form of humorous public comment and honest criticism.

"KFC are spending millions on re-branding themselves as 'Kiwi For Chicken,' but when we suggest KFC means 'Kiwi For Cheapskates' and invite other kiwis to voice a point of view they try to shut us down," says Abel. "In a society that values free speech people should be able to voice those opinions," says Abel. "It is very concerning that KFC should wish to silence that critical comment and we will defend to the hilt the right of the public to freely express their views on corporations such as KFC."

The site has attracted hundreds of e-mails from the public and generated over one thousand messages to KFC. Greenpeace will continue to run its campaign across the country which includes colourful and good humoured store protests by chicken suit clad activists.

"KFC should really take heed of the poll results, listen to their customers around the country and act for the good of the environment by committing to non-GE fed chicken," says Abel.

Images available at www.kfc.org.nz

(1) Poll results: DOWNLOAD PDF

(2) Financial analysis available: DOWNLOAD PDF

(3) GE soy growing has led to more chemical use, lower yields, new weed problems and contamination of conventional crops.

(4) The Timaru Herald reported in August that KFC General Manager Rod de Vries cited "300,000-plus customers" was evidence that KFC's use of GE chicken was not creating public disquiet.

(5) Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPPs) are a common corporate tactic for silencing criticism. The idea is that simply the threat of potentially expensive legal action is enough to shut-up public comment or protest. Very few such legal threats ever make it to court but they often do succeed in silencing people or under-resourced organisations.

Go to a Print friendly Page

Email this Article to a Friend

Back to the Archive