<< see all current actions

Get hidden GM out of your trolley

Is your meat, milk or ready meal supporting the GM industry?


06 Sep 2013

Supermarkets dump non-GM feed for pork

On 1 September The Grocer published "Sainsbury's and Co-op drop GM-free promise on premium pork lines" (see http://www.thegrocer.co.uk/fmcg/sainsburys-and-co-op-drop-gm-free-promise-on-premium-pork/348952.article).

The headline was bad enough, but unfortunately the story also revealed information about UK supermarket feed policies that had not been clear previously. In addition to the switch to GM feed in pork production by Sainsbury's and the Co-op, the story also said, "Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Waitrose said they did not require GM-free pig feed for the standard or premium pork products they sell." Further down it said, "The Co-op also said it can no longer guarantee its own label chicken and turkey was fed a non-GM diet."

This helps us understand supermarket feed policy, but it is not good news, and we have not seen any denials or requests for corrections from any of the companies involved.

Please include your disappointment about the backsliding on non-GM pork feed requirements in your letters to supermarkets.

See our revised information on GM-fed products at www.gmfreeze.org/why-freeze/unwanted/where-buy-non-gm-fed/


What you can do

Please write to your supermarket of choice (or as many as you can) expressing your deep concern about the change in policy on GM animal feed. You can find contact information for all major UK supermarkets here. Remember: Waitrose is maintaining its policy, which needs improvement but has not reversed in line with what other companies are doing. For suggestions on holding stalls about supermarket GM feed policies, see Help others say "No!" to GM animal feed.

If you have limited time, please make a special effort to write to Marks & Spencer and the Co-operative to express your disappointment with their change in policy (see ready-made email letters to Co-op and M&S).

If you have a bank account with the Co-op please ask how this new policy meets the claim that the bank's Ethical Policy "ensures that we will always stand up for the issues that our customers feel passionate about".

Feel free to amend these points in any way you like in your letters (for instance, you can adapt the third point if you are a vegetarian).

If you have time, please write to Waitrose encouraging it to maintain its position and ask for further information about non-GM fed products you can buy in its shops.

People have asked for petition style sheets they can use to encourage others to sign and then send on to supermarkets.* You can now download pdfs of these sheets (a cover sheet with explanation of the need to sign, then a second sheet you can copy and use as many times as you need) here:

    •    Co-op petition sheets
    •    M&S petition sheets
    •    Morrisons petition sheets
    •    Sainsbury's petition sheets
    •    Tesco petition sheets
    •    Blank sheets to use for other supermarkets

See our action Help others say 'No!' to GM animal feed for more ideas for actions outside supermarkets or in town centres.

See our revised information on GM-fed products here.

Thank you for your action – this is an important time in this discussion.

*PLEASE NOTE: As you may know data protection rules governing what you can and can't do with people's contact data (like emails) require a clear opt-in, so if your group wishes to send people info or use their data in any other way you need to be explicit about what you are going to use their data for on the petition at the time you get signatures. If you are just going to collect signatures to send to us here at GM Freeze, you're good to go. Thank you for helping ensure people can trust GM Freeze and all our actions.

Points to include:

  • I am very dismayed that your company has changed its policy on GM animal feed.
  • I cannot understand why you will not provide the non-GM fed meat, milk and eggs your customers clearly want. Even UK Government research shows this clear demand from shoppers.
  • I want to buy non-GM fed animal products and urge you to take the steps necessary to order non-GM supplies, as is done by the Chinese, Norwegians, Austrians, Swiss, and major European companies like Carrefour and Campina, etc.


Background to this action

In 2000 all the major supermarkets made commitments to phase out GM feed for the animals used to produce their meat and dairy products, but tons of GM animal feed are still being shipped into the UK to feed the animals that supply milk in most stores.

Progress to remove GM feed from the supply lines of the major supermarkets has been slow and patchy. Until April 2013 fresh poultry was the most reliable for being GM-free and processed food the worst, but it is now extremely difficult to determine where GM feed is used.
 
In March 2012 the media reported Morrisons ended its requirement on suppliers to use only non-GM poultry feed. This change in policy puts the supermarket out of step with other UK food retailers at that time.

**Our GfK/NOP poll says 89% of shoppers want labelson food from animals fed a GM diet.**

All previous updates

10 Jun 2010

Stop Asda-led slide toward GM animal feed

GM Freeze has confirmed that Asda (owned by US retailing giant Walmart) have dropped their policy of using non-GM animal feed in their poultry and eggs. They now say if customers wish to avoid GM, they should buy organic.

GM Freeze believes this may be an attempt to test consumer opposition to GM, and that if there is little or no response, the policy may spread to other products and indeed to other supermarkets. This may be a critical moment for the future of our ability to choose non-GM food and further locks the UK into dependence of the unsustainable production of soybeans in South America.

What you can do:

1) Please urgently contact Asda expressing your opposition to this move.

2) It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to contact other supermarkets asking what they policy is on GM animal feed and expressing your strong preference for products from animals fed a non-GM animal diet. If you cannot contact all retailers, please prioritise especially Tesco, Sainsbury and Morrisons, as well as Waitrose (who recently joined the Roundtable on Responsible Soy - see a new briefing for details on the RTRS).

3) Please pass this information on to others.

Contact information for all major UK supermarkets is available under our Action Resources tab.

Many thanks, and feel free to ask any questions by emailing coordinator@gmfreeze.org.

16 May 2011

We want what Sweden's got

You will have noticed from our press release (see “Sweden heads for GM-free status: UK should follow”) that Swedish slaughterhouses, under pressure from food retailers and consumers, are planning to ban GM-feed pigs by 1 September to bring pig meet into line with other animal products. This is happening despite a pro-GM stance in the Swedish government and other food authorities, proving that consumer pressure is the key.

15 Jul 2011

Asda say they're GM-free, then say they aren't...

In June 2011 Asda wrote to customers, "I can confirm that all of Asda's own brand beef, pork, lamb, chicken, frozen foods, eggs, milk and cheese come from animals not fed GM feed."

This was queried and confirmed in emails from customer services.

However when questioned by a journalist in July Asda said, "...none of the major retailers, including Asda, have ever had a non-GM feed commitment for their meat and dairy products", and add if customers want non-GM fed, they should buy organic.

GM Freeze thinks it is disturbing that when customers asked for confirmation of the policy it was confirmed, but when a journalist asked the story changed.

23 Apr 2013

UK supermarkets abandon non-GM feed policies

In April 2013 many UK supermarkets abandoned long-standing policies on GM animal feed. The move, said to be based on the difficulty in sourcing non-GM feed, flies in the face of the UK Government's own data showing consumers want GM out of the food chain entirely, as well as our GfK/NOP poll results showing shoppers are willing to pay more to avoid GM.

GM Freeze is surprised that Marks & Spencer is among the companies making this change, as it has long had a strong and admirable stand on this issue.

Non-GM supplies are available. Major European supermarket chains, including Carrefour, have successful labelled lines of non-GM fed animal products. China's announcement that it is moving to secure non-GM soya imports, which came after UK supermarkets claimed non-GM is not available, proves that large quantities of non-GM are on the market. GM Freeze believes that if UK supermarkets place orders for non-GM normal market forces of supply and demand will ensure more non-GM is grown and sold.

There is no satisfactory explanation for the change in feed policy by UK supermarkets, and companies' reliance on the widely rejected work of the ISAAA (see our many press releases on this subject) is totally inadequate justification for rejecting consumer demands.

Please take action today to express your dismay at this unnecessary and unwelcome move.

17 Jul 2013

New petition sheets by popular demand

People have asked us for petition style sheets they can use to ask others to protest about supermarket GM animal feed policies. See "What you can do" for these pdf downloads.

06 Sep 2013

Supermarkets dump non-GM feed for pork

On 1 September The Grocer published "Sainsbury's and Co-op drop GM-free promise on premium pork lines" (see http://www.thegrocer.co.uk/fmcg/sainsburys-and-co-op-drop-gm-free-promise-on-premium-pork/348952.article).

The headline was bad enough, but unfortunately the story also revealed information about UK supermarket feed policies that had not been clear previously. In addition to the switch to GM feed in pork production by Sainsbury's and the Co-op, the story also said, "Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Waitrose said they did not require GM-free pig feed for the standard or premium pork products they sell." Further down it said, "The Co-op also said it can no longer guarantee its own label chicken and turkey was fed a non-GM diet."

This helps us understand supermarket feed policy, but it is not good news, and we have not seen any denials or requests for corrections from any of the companies involved.

Please include your disappointment about the backsliding on non-GM pork feed requirements in your letters to supermarkets.

See our revised information on GM-fed products at www.gmfreeze.org/why-freeze/unwanted/where-buy-non-gm-fed/