Worldwide contamination / Consumers don't want GM feed (30/3/2006)

Who says we don't need a global ban?

1.SWEDEN: Consumers don't want GM feed
2.UK: 10% of foods incl. soy GM contaminated
3.HUNGARY: Supermarkets act over GM contamination
4.PHILIPPINES: Common food products contaminated
5.KOREA: Organic soya milk GM contaminated

1.SWEDEN: Consumers don't want GM feed

Dear friends,

I am forwarding a press release by Greenpeace from Sweden.

(Svenska konsumenter vill inte äta kött producerat med GMO visar ny undersökning)

A new consumers' survey result on GM fed animal products. Swedish conusmers do not want GM food.

Akiko currently in Sweden

The survey result in Swedish can be downloaded here:


Swedish Consumers do not want to eat meat produced with GM feed - new opinion poll released today
(English translation)
Greenpeace Press Release, Thursday, March 30, 2006

The representative opinion poll was conducted by Exquiro Market Research and commissioned by Greenpeace. It surveyed the person in each household responsible for food shopping. Questions were asked concerning genetically modified organisms (GMOs), their use in animal feed, labeling of products and the policy of Swedish Meats.

93% of those asked said that meat products coming from animals fed with GM feed should be labeled. Furthermore, 68% answered that they would not buy meat products if they knew GM feed was used.

"The survey results are clear and should send a strong message to the food industry and the government: consumers don't want their food to be produced with GMOs," says Kathleen McCaughey, GMO spokesperson for Greenpeace.

Swedish Meats, owner of Scan brand products, allows GM feed to be used since January of this year. When asked, 74% of the respondents viewed as negative Swedish Meats' decision to allow the use of GM feed, while only 3% supported the decision.

"Swedish Meats cannot afford to ignore such clearly expressed consumer opinion. Greenpeace and Swedish consumers demand that Swedish Meats reintroduce its earlier GMO free policy", says Kathleen McCaughey.

"The survey greatly supports our work to get new labeling legislation adopted in the EU. Consumers have the right to make informed choices. It is high time for meat and dairy products made from GM feed to be labeled", concludes Kathleen McCaughey.

Kathleen McCaughey, GMO campaign +46 702 350886 Alfred Skogberg, press officer +46 703 405414

2.Food survey finds GMO soy in 10th of samples
Reuters, March 30, 2006

LONDON (Reuters) - Very low levels of genetically modified material were found in 10 percent of samples in a survey by Britain's Food Standards Agency of soy-containing ingredients which did not have labels indicating GMO material.

The FSA said, however, that all 60 samples complied with the law, which allows for small amounts of GMO material from accidental mixing of crop varieties.

European food laws require that food derived from GMO sources should be labeled accordingly.

The samples were collected between February and April from a range of food manufacturers.

3.Supermarkets act after Greenpeace GMO claim
The Budapest Times, 28 March 2006

Supermarket chains last week promised to act to either remove or investigate suspect products after Greenpeace Hungary claimed that food made with GMO soya was being sold unmarked.

Greenpeace last Tuesday said that it had found inappropriately high levels of GMO soya in canned meat goods made by Globus, Szegedi Paprika and a third unnamed firm.

"The National Food Safety and Nutrition Science Institute inspected the goods and found they contained more than 3% of GMO soya protein," Greenpeace spokeswomen Szabina Mózes told daily newspaper Magyar Hírlap.

According to Hungarian law, products with GMO content over 0.9% must indicate this on the packaging. Greenpeace asked the companies to withdraw their products and activists labelled hundreds of cans of the affected goods in a branch of Tesco.

Globus told MTI news agency that the products had not in fact undergone any testing, but claimed that it would look into instigating such tests immediately. The company said that all of its contracts with its suppliers state that products with GMO content greater than the legal limit would not be accepted.

German discount chain, Lidl, said that it would take the goods off the shelves, adding that they would not go back on sale until the manufacturers could certify that they were GMO free. Tesco promised it would do the same.

4.Group says RP is now GMO-contaminated
Sunstar (The Philippines), 27 March 2006.

Potentially unsafe substances from genetically-modified organisms (GMO) have allegedly contaminated some common food products that are being sold in the country, environmental group Greenpeace claimed.

Daniel Ocampo, genetic engineering campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia, said the Philippines is one of the 39 countries in the world that are affected by contamination from GMOs based on the "GM Contamination Report 2005" of Greenpeace and GeneWatch UK.

The report, which focused on the extent to which GMOs have leaked into the environment, showed widespread global contamination, illegal planting and cases of negative agricultural side effects supposedly caused by genetically-engineered products.

Ocampo said the contamination case specifically cited for the Philippines was the presence of GMOs in common food products, including baby food.

"The Philippine's inclusion in the list is not surprising considering the country's failure to ratify the Biosafety Protocol, which establishes the minimum international safety standards for GMO crops and their trade," he said.

Eliezer Billanes, convenor of the Socsksargen Movement against GMOs, expressed alarm over the reported GMO contamination on local food products as it practically places consumers at risk.

He reiterated the need for the government to impose a mandatory labeling of consumer products to make consumers aware of products that contain GMOs.

"The issue here is that the safety of GMOs to human health and the environment remains a big question. So until this issue is not yet properly resolved, it's only proper for our government to control the distribution of these questionable products if it cannot totally ban them," Billanes said.

He showed a pamphlet containing a list of products supposedly containing GMOs and a call for their boycott. The list covers at least 47 processed products that include milk, noodles, and hot dogs containing genetically-engineered corn and soya.

Contamination was even found in countries conducting supposedly carefully controlled high-profile farm-scale evaluations such as the UK," the report noted.

In the case of the Philippines, Ocampo was alarmed over the government's continuing adoption of various biotechnology products, which started with the commercialization of Monsanto's Bacillus Thuringiensis or Bt corn.

But agricultural biotechnology proponents insisted that GMOs are in fact safe and there's no need to label them.

Dr. Benigno Peczon, president of the government-backed Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippines, said conclusive studies made by scientists and medical experts worldwide have substantially affirmed the safety of the GM products. (Allen V. Estabillo)

Organic Milk Fails Certification Test
by Jung-Eun Lee Na-Yeon Lee ([email protected] [email protected]) MARCH 30, 2006

An investigation has revealed that organic soybean milk and formula manufactured by the country's leading food companies contain genetically modified organism (GMO) components.

A member of the Agriculture, Forestry, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Committee under the National Assembly and the Grand National Party (GNP) Hong Moon-pyo announced yesterday that monitoring conducted in 2005 for GMO components by the Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) showed that GMO ingredients were found in a leading organic formula and a leading milk company’s premium organic soybean milk.

In addition, Hong stated that the analysis by the National Agricultural Products Quality Management Service (NAQS) showed two other food companies' organic soybean milk also contained GMO elements.

Under the current Food Safety Law and Practice, GMO components shouldn't be found in processed food marked as organic.

According to the "guideline to the indication of GMO" under the Agricultural Product Quality Management Law, however, in cases in which there is a separate distribution certificate proving that no GMO elements are among the ingredients, an allowable limit of three percent of GMO components can be accidentally mixed in. The provision means that even without the GMO indication, GMO components could be discovered in processed foods made from imported materials.

A formula maker spokesperson said, "Ever since we were informed of the detection of GMO components last April, our company and outside agencies conducted GMO testing, but we have not discovered any GMO elements in any of those tests," and claimed that GMO components could be even found in organic formula made from ingredients granted by the government.

In fact, the KFDA's monitoring result shows that out of 869 products for examination, regardless of whether or not there is organic mark, 198 products (22.8 percent), including two indicated organic, contained GMO elements.

Regarding the types of the 198 products, beverages had the most GMO components with 37.6 percent, followed by special nutritional (31 percent), meat products (29.2 percent), tofu-based products (25 percent), and snacks (23.5 percent). Concerning the soybean, an ingredient to make tofu, all 39 products were detected with GMO components.

The KFDA noted, "We ordered [the company] that violated the duty to indicate an organic mark, to correct its indication system and will also issue correction orders to the 'Y' milk company, 'N' company and 'J' food company, if their products are found to contain GMO components after examination."

And yet, a KFDA official remarked, "There is a huge gap in marking GMO elements in the food's ingredients, with Europe at 0.9 percent and Japan and Taiwan both at five percent, respectively, " and explained that the U.S. does not have any obligatory standard for indicating GMO elements as it sees no problem with GMO components at all.

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