GE free Chicken Games at KFC Headquarters
Auckland, 22 December 2004: Chicken suit clad activists are to compete in a Christmas Games event outside New Zealand’s biggest fast food chicken company Restaurant Brands (KFC) in Penrose, Auckland today (1). Events will include the organic egg and spoon race and the three drumstick (or three legged) race.
Refereed by Santa Claus the Games are a demonstration of the superior fitness of chickens fed on a GE free diet.
Greenpeace is staging the event as part of a campaign for KFC to commit to a policy of only using chicken fed on a diet of non-GE soy, a choice that would avoid the environmental harms caused by GE soy growing (2). Gift packages of GE free chocolate, organic soy beans and a two cent coin will be offered to Restaurant Brands staff – who will be invited to watch the games. The two cent coin demonstrates the nominal extra cost of feeding a whole chicken on GE free soy (3).
“It’s a bit of fun for Christmas,” said Greenpeace Campaigner Steve Abel. “But the known environmental harms caused by GE soy growing are a serious issue that KFC can have considerable power to address in New Zealand. As the biggest NZ customer of Aussie chicken company Inghams, a demand by KFC for non-GE fed chicken would need to be heeded.”
A poll commissioned by Greenpeace on 15 November and conducted by research group Colmar Brunton showed that the majority of KFC customers would prefer to eat Non-GE fed chicken and an overwhelming 80% of KFC customers wouldn’t mind paying an extra 2 cents for chicken fed on Non-genetically engineered soy.
When told of the potential environmental harms from growing GE soy, 65% of all chicken eaters and 61% of KFC customers said they would prefer to eat non-GE fed chicken (4). “It’s a conclusive result that puts paid to KFC assertions that their customers are indifferent to GE in the food chain and also shows that people are willing to pay the tiny extra cost for GE free soy – even if KFC is not,” says Abel.
KFC’s supplier Inghams, who have a history of feeding their chickens on GE soy from the US, have recently imported non-GE soy from Brazil but neither company is committed to this continuing. The Games cap off a week of KFC store protests from Waihi on Sunday to the opening of KFC’s new Hamilton store yesterday.
Contact; Greenpeace GE Campaigner Steve Abel 021 565 175 Images available at; http://www.kfc.org.nz
(1) From midday today at Simpson Reserve alongside the Restaurant Brands office at 60 Hugo Johnson Drive, Penrose. (2) GE soy growing has led to more chemical use, lower yields, new weed problems and contamination of conventional crops. (3) Financial analysis available http://www.greenpeace.org.nz/nonGEFeedPremiums.pdf (4) Poll results; http://www.greenpeace.org.nz/KFCColmarBruntonPoll.pdf
GREENPEACE AOTEAROA NEW ZEALAND