GENTECH archive 8.96-97


Fwd: biggest Austrian dairy company goes GE-free!!!!

Forwarded message:
From: (Reclaim The Streets)
Date: 97-03-26 21:48:17 EST

>Date: Wed, 26 Mar 1997 12:44:32 +0000
>From: (Jim Thomas)
>Subject: biggest Austrian dairy company goes GE-free!!!!
>Dear all,
>this is to inform you of another milestone achievement of the 
>Austrain GE campaign.
>The Austria's biggest dairy company (products: 
>milk, cheese, yoghurts and any other milk-based product you can think 
>of) is announcing TODAY that it has a GE-free policy, that it is  
>basically today GE-free and plans to stay GE-free in the future.
>The company called Berglandmilch (which roughly translates to 
>mountain milk) has a market share of 50 %(!!) in Austria and also 
>exports some of their production to otehr European countries (in 
>particular germany but also Spain, Switzerland, Italy etc.)
>It uses two brand names "Schaerdinger" and "Desserta" on their 
>dairy products. (The company  name "Berglandmilch " is never used.)
>We have been working with this company for some weeks (to check their 
>product line!)  and have an
>excellent insight into ALL their product compositions. In a stunning way 
>Berglandmilch has given us ANY insight in their product quality 
>management  we asked for (I have NOT seen anything like that in the
> six years I worked for GP).
>GE-free, what does this mean in this case:
>Berglandmilch uses it in the most stringent way there is:
>1) No animal feed containing GE-components (no ge-soy, no ge-produced 
>vitamins (f.e. B12), no GE-produced enzymes, NO GE-produced 
>2) no GE-enzymes in their products (f.e. NO GE-chymosin 
>(cheese-enzyme) in any of their products)
>3) no living GMOs in their dairy products (f.e. for cheese, joghurts, etc.)
>4) no GE-produced food additives in their products (f.e. no 
>artificial flavours, vitamines, modified starches, enzymes, etc.)
>They also have a very tight quality managment programm to check their 
>coimmittment in the future
>Initially Berglandmilch discussed a more planned release of their 
>GE-free policy  but due to massive political interventions 
>and lobbying to STOP them there plans changed practically several 
>times a day for the last three weeks.
>Yesterday at a totally different press conference their chair of the 
>board "leaked" their plans (nobody knows why) and today they'll go 
>out big.
>We'll "congratulated" them on their decision.
>This message is to give you the first background info so you can think 
>WHEN and HOW they can use this info (which I don't think is the big 
>news story outside Austria TODAY) but definitely an excellent lobby 
>tool (both politically and for market work) in many countries for the 
>days and weeks to come.
>Berglandmilch (turnover about 800 million US$) is - to my knowledge - 
>the first big(ger) company that kicked out all GE-realted products 
>out of a pretty big product range. They therefore show that what we 
>say - we have to and can live without GE-stuff - is possible.
>And we can safely use this example as we had all the insight and we 
>can clearly say Berglandmilch is firmly committed to this GE-policy and 
>has implemented it by 98% today. One of the small exceptions are f.e. 
>the about 10-20% of their milk farmers (40 000 in number) which use 
>soy-based feed (which can contain GE-soy today). The remaining 80-90% 
>does NOT use soy at all (but grass!!)
>But within the next weeks they'll have changed from soy to a a 
>special milk cow feed mix of beans and peas (as a protein alternative 
>to soy). 
>For further questions please call me, Wolfgang Pekny, Alexander Egit 
> or our press officer Florian Faber at the GP Austria office
>GE.-free regards from Austria,
>Thomas Belazzi
>Greenpeace Austria
>tel: +43-1-713 00 31
>FAX: +43-1-713 00 30
>email:        (please use both 
>email:     addresses)
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