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Trans-Tasman Day of Action against Ingham

Media Release, 6 October 2004

GE-Free campaigners preparing for Trans-Tasman Day of Action against Ingham

On 9 and 10 October 2004, GE-Free campaigners in NZ and Australia will engage in a range of actions to get Inghams to go permanently GE-Free. The Australian owned chicken producer is the number one source of GE contamination in both countries. Activities are expected in many cities and towns across Australia and NZ.

The Auckland GE Action Group will be targeting KFC, as one of Ingham's largest customers for their actions on Oct 9. The group is planning to warn customers of possible GE contamination during a protest at KFC Ponsonby at 12 noon under the motto “KFC – Kentucky Fried Contamination”.

“We are targeting KFC as they are the biggest users of Inghams chickens, having recently switched from Tegel who are GE-Free” says one Auckland campaigner. “While we congratulate Inghams for having sourced non-GE chicken feed for the last few months, they still haven't made a permanent commitment to go GE-Free”.

The protesters are emphasizing that, under NZ labelling laws, chicken that have been raised on GE feed do not have to be labelled, which means that consumers are denied the right to choose.

The group are calling on the public to join the campaign on October 9 and 10 and take action themselves. “Everyone who is concerned about eating chickens that have been raised on GE-soy should put pressure on Inghams by phoning, faxing and emailing both Inghams and KFC, urging them to go permanently GE-Free.”

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Backgound information on Inghams and KFC

Until May 2004, Inghams have been importing soy for their chicken feed that is up to 85% genetically engineered. Due to pressure from the GE-Free movement, Inghams NZ decided in May to order all shipments of chicken feed until the end of 2004 from non-GE sources. While this is a huge step forward, consumers still can’t be sure which lot of feed the chicken they are buying has been fed. And most importantly, Inghams have yet to make a long term commitment to using non-GE feed. In Australia, Inghams are currently still using GE-contaminated soy.

It is not difficult for Inghams to go GE-Free – conventional non-GE soy is readily available on the international market and in 2001 Tegel New Zealand stopped using GE feed completely.

Restaurant Brands, who own KFC as well as Pizza Hut and Starbucks, and are one of Inghams largest customers and have only recently switched from Tegel (who went GE-Free in 2001) to Inghams.

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