GENTECH archive 8.96-97
'I guess heresay isn't the best source'
- To: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Subject: 'I guess heresay isn't the best source'
- From: "P.J.Mundy" <P.J.Mundy@geo.hull.ac.uk>
- Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 14:53:26 +0100 (BST)
- Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; CHARSET=US-ASCII
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> >On Wed, 26 Mar 1997 12:03:43 EST10 janelle kennard
> ><KENNARD@rsbs-central.anu.edu.au> wrote:
> >> Comsumers in the UK have been quite impressed with the (clearly
> >> labelled) "genetically modified" tomato paste. They have commented on
> >> the superior taste of the product, are pleased that it costs less, and
> >> the fact that in now occupies 17% of the paste market is testimony to
> >> this.
> > I assume that by now you have seen my reply to the
> > same question from Peter - it was in a conversation
> > with the marketing manager or Zenaca - the company
> > involved. I guess heresay isn't the best source -
> > sorry I can't offer something more concrete.
> > (copied from my reply to peter:)
> > The regulatory affairs officer for Zeneca (the company
> > producing the tomatoes) Nigel Poole quoted these figures
> > to me recently when he was visiting Australia for a
> > conference I was involved with. The cans in
> > question (sold though Sainsbury's and Safeways, under
> > these labels)are certainly labelled clearly (quite
> > boldly) - I have a can near my computer!!
> > Cheers,
> > Janelle
Indeed, I agree that 'heresay' is perhaps not the
'best source' for such claims. I also think that one
can diferentiate between the clearly labelled,
relatively informative, and comparatively
well-publicised introduction of genetically engineered
tomato pastes in the UK by Safeway and Sainsbury's and
the recent unlabelled, untraceable, uninformative and
unpopular mass introduction of modified soya which
might affect a possible 60% of all processed
I am not sure if you have been following the debate in
the UK concerning the labelling of foods derived from
genetic engineering. My research [forthcoming MSc
dissertation] has established that several major UK
supermarkets, whilst not necessarily opposed to the
introduction of foods derived from genetic
engineering, have opposed the introduction of
genetically engineered soya on the grounds that the
failure of US producers to segregate supplies has
forced a situation where food producers and retailers
are unable to label foods in what they feel is an
adequate manner. Clearly this all but eliminates the
rights of the consumer to support or reject the
introduction of this new technology with all of its
inherent environmental, food safety and
ethical uncertainties as well as the wider social and
economic implications of future genetic engineering
In addition, the limited 'public' debate concerning
the introduction of foods derived from genetic
engineering has exposed the significant failings of
the current democratic process concerning the
introduction of gentically engineered agricultural
products to address wider public concerns other than
those of officially prescribed environmental/food
'safety'. I find it particularly lamentable that it is
becoming apparent that the ONLY official 'democratic'
means that citizens will have of influencing this
debate [remember that gm soya was only introduced into
the EU in late 1996] is as consumers; according to
proponents of biotechnology and the 'free'-market
economy, consumers can 'vote with their pockets' and
hence avoid gm foods if they so wish.
How can informed or concerned consumers 'vote with
their pockets' without enforced, effective and
consistent labelling policies?
As official consent has apparently already been given
for the introduction of certain foods derived from
genetic engineering it imperative that consumers, as
citizens, are given the democratic right to have the
ability to elect NOT to support this technology
through the purchasing of non-modified foods.
With the failure of governments thus far to ensure
this right, and the aggresive opposition of the
biotech industry lobby to segregation and the
labelling of foods derived from genetic engineering,
an increasingly cynical view of this whole situation
is by no means difficult to justify....
Nor is the growing support for, and continued success
of, various NGO campaigns in Europe.
Respect and support to all activists.