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Most NZ Food companies going GE free already

Saturday 19th May, 2001.

Most NZ Food companies going GE free already

19 May 2000 Auckland. Greenpeace’s updated version of the True Food Guide launched today, shows that many NZ food companies have swung in favour of a GE free policy.

“NZ food companies are listening to their local and international customers who want to eat GE free food, and are following a GE free trend that is sweeping the world,” says Greenpeace GE campaigner, Annette Cotter.

Major food companies who are going GE free include Unilever, Heinz Wattie’s, Goodman Fielder, Cerebos Greggs, Pillsbury, Quality Bakers and Frucor.

In the past six months Heinz Wattie’s have committed to an international GE free policy, and Australasian giant Goodman Fielder say they are sourcing GE free ingredients. Cerebos Greggs also has an undertaking to replace genetically engineered ingredients with non GE alternatives.

Among the other big movers is Allied Bakers, whose brands include Tip Top, Burgen and North breads. Boutique baker Pandoro Panetteria have achieved GE free status and further aim to be certified organic by 2004.

“The Guide has been an overwhelming success, with many members of the public using it to decide on what food to buy at the supermarket,” says Ms Cotter. “The strong concerns that people have about genetic engineering are being communicated to food companies, and reflected by major food companies going GE free.”

Nestle (NZ) have shifted from a pro GE stance to acknowledge the public sentiment against GE foods, but have still to commit to a NZ GE free policy. This is despite Nestle having made a GE free commitment in at least six other countries.

Also featured in the guide are organic products, which are GE free, and chemical free. Greenpeace believes organics is the future for NZ’s agriculture and dependent on the political decisions due to be made subsequent to the Royal Commission on Genetic Engineering, NZ is poised to supply a fast increasing organic market internationally.

ENDS

Contact: Annette Cotter, Greenpeace GE campaigner, 09 630 6317, 025 565 175

Notes to editor:

1. The True Food Guide categorises company’s GE status by colour. Red for companies which have no commitment to being GE free, orange for companies that have a GE free commitment and are sourcing GE free ingredients, and Green for companies that are GE Free.
2. Restaurant Brands (Pizza Hut, KFC and Starbucks) are committed to being GE free by the end of this year
3. Under ANZFA regulations certain foods, for example canola oil, do not have to be labelled as genetically engineered if there is no “novel DNA” in the finished item, even if the source crop is genetically engineered. For other labelling exclusions and more information see www.greenpeace.org.nz

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