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3-Food: Sainsbury's in UK go GE free



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Sainsbury's heads international consortium in commitment to be GM free 
PRESS RELEASE
17 March 1999

Gillian Bridger, 0171 695 7295

Sainsbury's has set up an international consortium of food retailers and 
industry experts to establish validated sources of GM free crops, 
products and derivatives. This move will enable Sainsbury's to eliminate 
all GM ingredients from its own label products in response to customer 
demand for GM free foods. The consortium will be responsible for 
establishing audit and testing processes to verify the authenticity of GM 
free raw materials to be used in their products. The consortium is made 
up of seven major international food retailers including Sainsbury's and 
Marks and Spencers from the UK. It also includes an independent group of 
experts led by Law Laboratories Ltd leaders in technical verification of 
GM free products. Working together this group creates a long-term 
commitment to the farming and commodity industries in order to respond to 
customer demand and produce GM free foods. Sainsbury's Environmental 
|Manager, Alison Austin said: "This is a world first. A consortium like 
this is the only way Sainsbury's and other food retailers can establish 
GM free sources of crops and derivatives. By establishing verified non-GM 
sources in the farmers field and ensuring segregation through the supply 
chain we will be GM free. We always wanted GM and standard crops to be 
separated and were extremely disappointed when this did not happen with 
the US soya crop. Over the last 18 months we have been working hard to 
source non-GM soya or alternatives for our won brand products. By working 
with international food retailers and scientists we will give UK shoppers 
what they want."

Notes to editors
The consortium includes of 7 food retailers; Sainsbury's (UK), Marks and 
Spencer (UK), Carrefour (France), Effelunga (Italy), Migros 
(Switzerland), Delhaize (Belgium) and Superquinn (Ireland). The work 
Sainsbury's have done over the past 18 months means only 40 to 50 
products, out of 1,500, currently contain GM soya protein or DNA. These 
products are labelled. With Sainsbury's commitment to eliminate GM from 
its own brand products, these products will be discontinued if a GM free 
alternative cannot be found. In addition Sainsbury's are working on all 
own brand products which contain ingredients which could be GM 
derivatives, such as soya oil and lecithin. Whether possible alternatives 
are being found but again if this is not possible these products will 
also be discontinued.


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