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3-Food: Nestlé rejects claims of GM ingredients in Russian baby food

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

TITLE:  Nestlé rejects claims of GM ingredients
SOURCE: The Messenger, Georgia, by Christina Tashkevich,2004/
DATE:   20 Jul 2004

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Nestlé rejects claims of GM ingredients

Spurred by reports coming from Russia, Nestlé has denied using
genetically modified (GM) ingredients in its baby food products.

The Russian National Association for Genetic Safety accused the company
in June, saying Nestlé's baby foods were genetically modified and put on
sale without "necessary labeling."

However, General Manager of Nestlé Georgia and Armenia Esben Emborg
stated that "we do not use genetically modified ingredients in baby food

Speaking at a press conference held on Monday to shot down the claims,
Emborg said laboratory tests of Nestlé products in several Russian
sanitary laboratories have not found genetically modified ingredients in
its products, specifically in its baby food.

"Such misinformation is a violation of consumer rights and company
rights," said Emborg. The company worries it will lose its customers.

"These accusations undermine the trust of customers in our products,"
Emborg said, adding that the company always abides by its principles:
transparency and providing consumers with correct information.

The company says it decided to turn to court to protect its reputation
and make the Russian National Association responsible for its false
accusations. In Russia, Nestlé already filed a court case against the
association in June and is waiting for the court decision.

"The accusations are damaging for our business in Georgia," Emborg
stated. "Of course, there are loyal consumers of Nestlé who were not
affected by this information," he adds.

But nevertheless, according to Emborg, Nestlé's sales in Georgia have
decreased as a result.

In its June statement, the association claims that between 50 and 100
percent of Nestlé's baby food products are made using genetically
modified ingredients.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), products which include
GM ingredients must be tested to find out if they are toxic or cause

Laboratory tests on mice fed with genetically modified potatoes showed
abnormalities in the animal's digestive system as well as in blood and brain.

Nestlé is one of the largest food producing companies in the world. It
holds the seventh place among all European companies and 26th in the
world. In Russia it has operated since 1995 and owns the controlling
shares in several Russian food producing companies including the
confectionery Russia.


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