GENET archive


3-Food: Seagram destillery stops buying GE-corn

-------------------------- GENET-news ---------------------------

TITLE:  Seagran fuzzy on GMO corn
SOURCE: Western Producer, Canada, by Roberta Rampton
        edited by Agnet, Canada
DATE:   January 13, 2000

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Seagran fuzzy on GMO corn

Seagram, one of the world's largest distillers, has, according to
this story, changed its mind on genetically modified grain, and
because of consumer concerns about GM food, Seagram buyers told
seed suppliers in December the company will not buy genetically
modified corn in 2000. Jennifer Crowl, a spokesperson for the
company in New York was cited as saying no spirits and wines made
by Seagram contain GM organisms, adding, "We're not really
thinking they will in the future." But, the story notes, Crowl
had few answers about how the company plans to ensure its
products don't contain GM corn. And she was surprised to hear
that Manitoba farmers currently deliver GM corn to the company's
distillery in Gimli, Man. "That's not my understanding," said
Crowl. She checked with Seagram officials in London, England, to
try to get more details about the company's policy. But after
checking, Crowl said the company does not disclose information
about its ingredients or buying practices.

The story says that Seagram's inability to give more details
about its expectations is flummoxing Manitoba corn growers who
count on the Gimli distillery to buy about a third of their
annual production. Theresa Bergsma, secretary?manager of the
Manitoba Corn Growers Association was quoted as saying, "I think
the biggest issue is they won't give us anything in writing,"
adding that farmers need to know Seagram's tolerance levels for
GM corn and how the company will test for the presence of GM
corn. About 400 farmers grow grain corn in southern Manitoba. In
1999, they planted between 100,000 and 110,000 acres, said
Bergsma. Local brokers and grain companies buy corn for Seagram.
The rest of the crop goes to feed mills and livestock farmers. 


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