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Greens welcome Tegel response to GE concern

Greens welcome Tegel response to growing GE concern

Green MP Sue Kedgley today welcomed news that Tegel New Zealand had committed to feeding its chickens on feed free from genetically engineered ingredients.

Tegel carried out consumer research which showed that 60 per cent of consumers were concerned about New Zealand chickens being fed on genetically engineered crops and that 75 per cent would prefer chicken that had not been fed genetically engineered feed.

"I am delighted that Tegel has decided to listen to consumer concerns, and I hope that farmers and other major producers will do the same," said Ms Kedgley.

Ms Kedgley said consumers would contrast Tegel's commitment to a GE-Free diet for chickens, with the Dairy Board's statement yesterday that it would ignore consumer concerns and continue to use GE emulsifiers in processed cheese eaten by humans.

"They will spot the company that isn't listening," she said.

Ms Kedgley pointed out that the proposed new EU labelling regime will give consumers in one of our key export markets full information about how their food has been produced, including whether chickens and other animals were fed GE crops, or whether there were GE additives in processed food. As more countries ban food with GE ingredients or impose tough new labelling laws, New Zealand producers could lose export markets if they didn't't follow Tegel's example and switch to GE-foods.

Ms Kedgley suggested that Tegel might also like to conduct a consumer survey on how chickens should be treated and housed. It might also like to listen to consumer concerns about the feeding of antibiotics to chickens on a routine basis, and the ground-up remains of animals.

ENDS

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