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Public Backing expected for Mayors' GM boycott

GE Free NZ
Public Backing expected for Mayors' "GM boycott"


Public Backing expected for Mayors' "GM boycott" as supermarket looks to law to block consumer action.

In what appears to be an astonishing attack on basic consumer rights supermarket chain 'Woolworths' is reported to be taking legal advice against a call from Waitakere City Mayor Bob Harvey for people to boycott GM foods. In a report from the National Business News ( Nov 9) Woolworths New Zealand marketing director Des Flynn is reported to have said "It could make business tail off."

A spokeperson for GE-Free NZ said "Though legal action seems unlikely, any threat from the supermarket to block consumers exercising their right to choose and to use boycotts to voice their concerns to retailers via how they spend their money, will be hard-fought"

Woolworths, a major employer which also runs Big Fresh, and Price Chopper supermarkets, is reported to be worried it will lose business after Mr Harvey's comments.

The fact that consumer have already sent clear messages to retailers about their wish to have no GE foods seems to have been ignored by Woolworths. Other retailers such as Foodtown and most major manufacturers are believed to have spent the last 18 months purging their products of GE ingredients.

" Even Nestle are supposedly getting rid of their GE ingredients. If Woolworths have ignored market signals it is their own fault", said Auckland researcher Jon Carapiet. " In the lead up to the December 7th labelling date there will be huge increase in public interest in what companies are putting in our food. If Woolworths don't act quickly to ensure their products are GE-Free then ironically - because of their response to Mr. Harvey's comments- they may have singled themselves to the vast majority of consumers rejecting GE - as a company to avoid".

Partial labelling of GE foods is due to commence on 7th December though products currently being produced have been exempted, as have all foods sold at bakeries, cafes and restaurants. The GE content in these outlets will only be revealed if consumers ask, but retailers will be required to know what GE they are using, and to tell their customers.

ENDS


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