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Greenpeace survey food companies on GE ingredients

Greenpeace to survey food companies on GE ingredients

Auckland, 8 July 2003: Greenpeace will tomorrow mail 370 New Zealand food companies, asking them to declare their policy of excluding GE crop ingredients such as corn, soy and canola. The results will be published online and in the fourth edition of the GE Free Food Guide to be printed in October.

Steve Abel, Greenpeace’s GE campaigner said: “People’s desire to avoid GE food is as strong as ever. The Japanese pizza incident this weekend has sparked more requests for Greenpeace’s GE Free Food Guides. In the last two days alone 3,848 products have been checked on our website (www.gefreefood.org.nz) to see if they’re GE free.

“People have a right to know if the food they feed their families is made from GE crops or not and our guide clearly informs them.”

Greenpeace New Zealand plans to publish 100,000 copies of the guide. Greenpeace Australia is publishing half a million copies of their guide this year and similar guides have been produced in throughout Europe, the UK, Canada and Thailand.

Tens of thousands printed editions of the New Zealand food guide have been distributed and there have been 182,000 visits to the guide online since its launch in 2002.

Current labelling laws in New Zealand don’t require the labelling of processed foods like cooking oil or meat products from animals raised on GE stock feed. For example, Inghams chickens are fed on 85 per cent GE contaminated Soy (1). New European labelling legislation is stronger than New Zealand’s laws. In Europe GE derived ingredients such as oils are labelled and there is traceability of GE animal feed (2).

“It is not only New Zealanders, Japanese and Europeans who want to avoid GE food but 73% of Australians are concerned about the use of gene technology in their food and drink (3) and 90% of Americans say that GM food should have special labels to identify them (4),” said Abel.

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