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3-Food: Greenpeace target Swedish GM soy supplier

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TITLE:  Greenpeace target Swedish GM soy supplier
SOURCE: Agence France Press & South African Press Agency
DATE:   23 Mar 2006

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Greenpeace target Swedish GM soy supplier

Stockholm - Greenpeace activists blockaded a storage facility for
genetically-modified (GM) soy in Sweden on Thursday, calling for a halt
to its use as animal feed, the organisation said.

"We have welded shut the silo doors", said Greenpeace GM spokesperson
Kathleen McCaughey.

Greenpeace activists unfurled banners calling for a halt to genetic
experiments on feed and erected signs around the Lantmaennens facility in
Norrkoeping, south-eastern Sweden, which read "Warning: contains GMO,
genetically modified organisms."

Police made a brief appearance at the scene, but took no action,
Greenpeace said.

Police took no action

A dozen protesters remained at the plant while other protesters travelled
to Lantmaennen's head office in Stockholm to meet the company's managing
director, Birgitta Johansson-Hedberg, who defended her company's policy.

"Safety, freedom of choice and customer satisfaction dictate all
Lantmaennen's decisions," said Johansson-Hedberg via a spokesperson.

Lantmaennen is one of Sweden's largest importers of animal feed with
turnover in 2005 of 28-billion Swedish kronor (R23,2-billion).

Kjell Larsson, a company spokesperson, said that Lantmaennen's sale of GM
animal feed complied with European and Swedish legislation.

"As a 'dead' product, soy feed does not pose a threat to the
environment," said Larsson.

'Not a threat to the environment'

"According to EU legislation products made from animals raised on GM feed
are not required to be labelled as such," said Larsson.

Larsson said that as long as demand existed, they would supply GM feed to
Swedish farmers.

Larsson said he was "convinced" demand for GM feed in Sweden would grow.

Lantnaennen began importing feed containing varrying amounts of GM
organisms in November 2005, and by March 2006 had imported three
shipments amounting to 3 600 tonnes.

Lantmaennen imported 180 000 tonnes of feed in 2005.

Earlier in March Greenpeace took samples from silos at the Norrkoeping
plant. Analysis by GeneScan Analytics in Germany revealed that 95 percent
of the samples were genetically modified.

Greenpeace said it would continue its campaign against the spread of
genetically modified feed.

"We are lobbying the European Union to introduce legislation to ensure
that meat and dairy products produced by animals raised on GM feed are
marked accordingly", said McCaughey.

European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering

Hartmut MEYER (Mr)
news & information

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