Greenpeace Welcomes Heinz-Wattie’s GE Free Commitment
Auckland, 2 February 2001 – Greenpeace today welcomed a statement from Heinz-Wattie’s Australasia confirming that the “Heinz global policy is for its product range to be GM Free”.
“Heinz-Wattie’s has listened to their customers concerns and made this commitment to be GE free,” said Lindsay Kennan, GE Campaigner, Greenpeace. “Genetic engineering is an experiment with our environment and with our health, other food companies should follow this lead and make the same GE free commitment.”
The statement from Heinz-Wattie’s said that: “Our policy is to eliminate, by replacement or reformulation, ingredients which have Genetically Modified content…Our global ingredient sourcing systems ensure appropriate controls and verification procedures with respect to genetically modified organisms”.
“If Heinz-Wattie can go GE Free then other food companies can as well,” said Kennan. “Greenpeace now expects other major manufacturers such as Goodman Fielder and Nestle NZ to follow suit.”
“New Zealanders have the right to eat food that is not genetically engineered and they should contact the companies who still use GE ingredients and tell them that they want it out of their food”.
Heinz-Wattie’s is the Australasian subsidiaries of H. J. Heinz and have sales of $90 Million US dollars per year. Their food brands include; Heinz, Watties, Greenseas, PMU, Weight Watchers, Earths Best Organic Baby Foods, Golden days, Epicure and Imperial.
Food companies around the world have been rejecting the use of GE foods due to growing consumer concern about the environmental and health risks associated with GE crops. Greenpeace has produced a True Food Guide that gives details of company policies regarding the use of GE ingredients. This can be found online at www.greenpeace.org.nz/truefood/
H J Heinz company globally has $10 Billion US dollar per year sales and their brands are ranked number one and number two brands in more than 50 countries.