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3-Food: Greenpeace welcomes major global steps to get out of GM food



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---------------- Begin Forwarded Message ----------------
Date:        17.03  13:23 Uhr
Received:    18.03  9:50 Uhr
From:        Benny Haerlin, Benny.Haerlin@greenpeace.de
To:          genet@agoranet.be

Greenpeace welcomes major global steps to get out of genetically modified
food

AMSTERDAM, March 17, 1999 - Greenpeace International  today welcomed two
major steps towards a genetically modified (GM) free food supply at two
different ends of the world.

Monsanto, the world's most aggressive seller of genetically engineered
seeds yesterday announced that it had withdrawn applications for approval
of their herbicide resistant (Roundup Ready) soyabeans in Brazil. The step
comes after massive protests by environmental and consumers organisations
as well as scientists and lawmakers in Brazil. Brazil is the worlds second
biggest exporter of soyabeans. Soyabeans are used in 60 per cent of
processed supermarket food products including bread, pasta, yoghurt,
chocolate and ice-cream.

At the same time the UK retailer J. Sainsbury's announced that it will not
sell any genetically engineered products under it's own label. Sainsbury's
also revealed that it had formed a consortium of major European retailers,
including Marks & Spencer (UK), Carrefour (France), Superquinn (Ireland),
Migros (Switzerland), Delhaiz (Belgium) and Effelunga (Italy), who will
jointly source GM-free products.

"This is the beginning of the end of trying to forcefeed consumers 
unwanted
and unneeded genetically manipulated food", commented Greenpeace
International's campaigner Benedikt Haerlin. "We hope to see more
supermarket chains and food producers join the GM-free consortium in the
next few days." Haerlin added that other major food producers and
retailers, such as Unilever in Germany and Austria, and 90 percent of all
supermarkets in Austria and countless small producers have already 
declared
that they are GM free. "No supermarket or food producer can claim that it
was not possible to avoid GM ingredients in their products."

Monsanto's withdrawal of applications for seed approvals of genetically
engineered "Roundup Ready" soyabeans in Brazil follows vigorous protests 
of
environmental and consumer groups as well as scepticism and discussions
within the Brazilian government. Last week IBAMA, the Brazilian
environmental state agency formally joined a lawsuit of Greenpeace Brazil
against the approval of Monsantos GM soyabeans. Also the Governor of
Brazil's major soyabean growing state, Rio Grande del Sul, declared that
his state will stay a "GM free zone". Finally the Brazilian public 
agencies
for consumer protection (Procons) demanded a moratorium on GM products at
their annual meeting in Brasilia, on the 11 and 12 of March.

"Now it is up to consumers to question those, who still refuse to take a
clear position and to confront other companies, such as Nestle, who openly
insist on feeding their customers genetically engineered food." concluded
Haerlin.

For further information contact:

Benny Haerlin, Greenpeace International GE coordinator: +49 30 308899-12
Jon Walter , Greenpeace International  press officer ++31-20-523 6222,
Matilda Bradshaw UK press office ++44-171-8658256





----------------- End Forwarded Message -----------------

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-| GENET
-| The European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering
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