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Inghams first GE free soy shipment confirmed

Fri, 13 Aug 2004

Inghams first GE free soy shipment confirmed - but no commitment

Auckland, 13 August 2004: Tests results provided to Greenpeace by McDonalds this week confirm that Aussie poultry giant Inghams has successfully sourced non-genetically engineered soy meal from Brazil (1).

A ship discharged the feed meal at the Port of Tauranga in July. “This is good news for the environment and for Inghams customers who have been demanding that Inghams stop using GE feed in their poultry production. However Inghams are refusing to commit to continuing the import of non-GE soy,” said Greenpeace GE campaigner Steve Abel.

“In fact we believe that Inghams are likely to return to a GE contaminated soy supply from the US as soon as this December, which is not good enough” said Abel. “Inghams are not willing to pay the small premium for certified non-GE soy from the US, so Greenpeace continues to call on the public to demand an ongoing non-GE commitment from Inghams,” said Abel.

New Zealand’s biggest chicken company Tegel have sourced non-GE soy meal from the US since 2001 and are also intending to import non-GE soy from Brazil (2).

Inghams first non-GE shipment followed a change in their policy statement (3) and a statement by McDonalds New Zealand in May requesting that Inghams seek non-GE feed for their chicken (4).

But New Zealand’s biggest chicken user, KFC, broke their 2001 commitment to sell non-GE fed chicken when they switched suppliers from Tegel to Inghams in July this year (5). “KFC will be held accountable to its customers over this broken commitment.”

Today in Australia two Greenpeace New Zealand activists, Vanessa Atkinson and Anthony Downs, are appearing before a Melbourne court over a protest against the cargo ship Despina in 2002. The Despina was blockaded while carrying GE soy into the Port of Melbourne.

For further information please contact: Greenpeace Campaigner; Steve Abel, 021 565 175 Greenpeace Communications Officer; Suzette Jackson, 021 577 556

(1) Based on and within the limit of the tests carried out the soybean meal loaded into the vessels hold is 99.9% Non-GMO Purity – SGS DO Brasil LTDA, Sao Paulo, June 07 2004.

(2) Independent research done for Tegel found that 75% of consumers wanted chickens that had not been fed GE soy meal, NZ Herald, 29 August 2001. Tegel, New Zealand’s largest poultry company, have had an active non-GE feed policy since 2001. Tegel import certified non-GE feed from the US.

(3) Inghams Policy Statement: “We purchase non-GM soy when it is available in good quality and at a competitive price. However, we do not believe there are sufficient supplies of non-GM soy available on world markets that are of suitable quality.”

(4) “McDonalds is aware of concerns over the use of GM in animal feed and has therefore requested its suppliers to identify sources of non-GM soya in animal feed. This has been achieved by its chicken suppliers.” – McDonalds New Zealand, 19 May 2004.

(5) Restaurant Brands (KFC) stated in their 2001 Annual report that “Restaurant Brands intends to continue working in partnership with its suppliers to eliminate, where economically feasible, any remaining GM material from its ingredients and animal feed by 1 December 2001.”

ENDS

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