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GE- Genetically Modified Food - Who's doing what?

Genetically Modified Food - Who's doing what? 
(Last updated 5 March 1999) from website 

| News | Contact Addresses | Who's Doing What? | Ingredients | 
Carrefour"The French food company which established Britain's first 
hypermarkets removed all GM food from its shelves last night."6 February 
1999Daily Mail 
George Skoulikas Ltd"I would like to confirm that our products do not 
contain genetically modified ingredients, that includes the lecithin 
used in our organic halva.
Please be assured that it is our company policy that none of our 
products contain genetically modified ingredients."26 February 
1999Letter from Selwyn Fernandes
House of Commons Restaurants"In the purchasing of food, the Refreshment 
Department not only considers the price being offered, but also takes 
into account criteria such as the quality and wholesomeness of the 
produce available, food safety issues and consumer confidence; the 
latter requires the Department's procurement officer to be aware of 
ethical and environmental issues relating to the food chain and to 
advise the Department's management in order that customer confidence can 
be maintained at all times." 
" avoid, wherever identifiable, the procurement of foods which 
contain genetically modified organisms."20 July 1998Hansard 
Marlow Foods (Quorn)"The major component of Quorn products is 
myco-protein which unlike soya is mushroom in origin. We can guarantee 
that myco-protein is not genetically modified or engineered in any way.
Our policy is to ensure that no Quorn branded products contain 
ingredients that are genetically modified."1 March 1999Jane E Horne, 
Consumer Service Assistant
Mars"Mars's overriding concern is to manufacture products which meet the 
highest standards of quality and safety. Consequently, all the 
ingredients we use in our products are legal and thus safe defined by 
the competent authorities in the countries concerned. Labelling of our 
products will always comply with the relevant regulations and laws.
We can confirm that none of our products contain any genetically 
modified material."25 February 1999Letter from Gill Coop, External 
Meridian Foods"I am delighted to inform you that all Meridian products 
are free of genetically modified ingredients and I have enclosed a copy 
of our company statement which explains our position in more detail."28 
January 1999Letter from Debbie Lewis, Customer Services
Organics Direct"Organic food is produced without the use of chemical 
pesticides, fertilisers or the routine use of animal antibiotics or 
other drugs. It is also free from genetically engineered ingredients."23 
February 1999Web siteHaldane Foods"Haldane Foods are very pleased to 
announce that we have secured supplies of Soya ingredients produced from 
identity-preserved traditional Soya beans, and all production will be 
made from this new source of Soya." (leaflet) 
"It goes without saying that we are very pleased at the prospect of 
having an ongoing GM-free product." (letter)
However, testing by Daily Mail (27 February 1999) revealed that GM 
ingredients are currently present in Real Eat and So Good products, 
produced by Haldane. 
1 March 1999Letter and leaflet from Graham Keen, Sales and Marketing 

Holland and Barrett"...we can now guarantee own label foodstuffs are 
free from modification.
We have also encouraged all other suppliers to actively avoid the use of 
GM materials in their products so can also confirm that all branded food 
lines currently sold in our stores are free from genetically modified 
organisms. (This has been substantiated by statements from our 
"Products in non-food categories like vitamins, minerals and other 
supplements, do not fall under the new labelling regulations.
This is because the processing of the ingredients removes all of the 
protein and DNA from the original soya, thereby also removing from the 
finished product, any trace of modified material that may or may not 
have been present in the first place.
This means that products that contain derivatives of soya like lecithin 
or soya oil do not need to indicate whether they contain GM materials or 
not. Therefore in line with other manufacturers of supplements such as 
Quest, Healthcrafts or Lanes we have no plans to make any labelling 
changes to our products at this time."
(This last information is debatable - a follow up letter is being sent 
to obtain more details.) 19 February 1999Letter from Lin Pearson, 
Customer Services
Heinz"We do not currently use ingredients containing genetically 
modified material in Heinz varieties, however, we would consider their 
use in the future if ingredients have been fully approved by the 
relevant regulatory and scientific authorities. We also follow the EC 
Regulation that came into force on 1st September 1998 on the labelling 
of GM soya and maize." 
(Currently GM free, but beware in future)26 February 1999Letter from 
"Consumer Contact"Iceland"From 1 May [1998] no Iceland own brand 
production will contain any ingredients which have been genetically 
(However, non-own-brand food may still be genetically modified.)18 March 
1998Public letter from Malcolm Walker, Chairman
Kellogg's"Our products in Europe do not contain genetically modified 
material. However, we have not ruled out the possibility that we could 
use genetically modified ingredients in the future."
(Currently GM free, but beware in future)3 March 1999Margaret Thorniley, 
Consumer Services Administrator

Linda McCartney"Sir Paul McCartney has vowed to eliminate 
genetically-modified ingredients from his late wife's range of 
vegetarian foods. The former Beatle said he was shocked to hear that 
modified soya had been found in Linda McCartney products.
His pledge follows claims made by BBC Two's Newsnight programme that 
Linda McCartney's vegetarian sausages and mince contained 
genetically-modified (GM) soya, despite assurances from the company that 
they did not. The programme said scientific tests it commissioned showed 
that Linda McCartney mince and sausages contained Monsanto's Round-Up 
Ready genetically-modified soya." 16 February 1999BBC News
Nestle / Cereal Partners"Nestle breakfast cereals do not at present 
contain any genetically modified materials. If at any time in the future 
such materials are used, the pack will be clearly labelled in accordance 
with government legislation." (letter)
"We do believe that the responsible use of gene technology in 
agriculture will bring benefits to farmers, industry and consumers. We 
are therefore prepared to use ingredients which may be derived from 
genetically modified crops where it is necessary to do so or a clear 
benefit can be shown." (note) 
(Currently GM free, but beware in future)24 February 1999Letter and 
"note" from Jill Elsdon, Consumer Services
Pizza Express"Since we last communicated, it was decided by the Board of 
Directors that our Policy is not to use Genetically Modified Products 
until their safety has been established."
Checked local restaurant - they had no information whether the existing 
stocks which might contain GM ingredients had now been cleared. 
16 February 1999 and
19 February 1999E-mail from Linda Plummer, Pizza Express Customer 
Services and
Conversation with manager of local restaurant
Waitrose"Has only four GM products left and is working to phase out use 
of GM ingredients in products."13 February 1999Daily Mail
Asda"We told suppliers to refrain from using GM soya or maize in new 
own-label products and certified non-GM sources of soya and maize in 
existing products."
(This means that existing products may still contain GM ingredients. 
Policy not clear on non-own-label products.) 17 February 1999Nick 
Agarwall, Asda Press Office, Quoted from Daily Telegraph, 17 February 
1999, page 4
BootsNo clear policy on Genetically Modified ingredients in sandwiches 
or medicines. No information on web site about GM ingredients.
Letter from Customer Service confirms this lack of clear policy : "A 
small number of Boots brand products do or may contain genetically 
modified ingredients or their derivatives. Where this is the case, the 
product will be labelled in accordance with current legislation so that 
consumers can choose whether or not to purchase them. 
It is extremely difficult to be sure in every instance that standard 
ingredients such as soya and maize do not include some proportion of 
genetically modified materials through mixing at source or in transit. 
We will continue to make every effort to identify the precise origin of 
every food ingredient, and any Boots products affected will be labelled 
accordingly." (letter 23 February)
Regrettably we are unable to supply you with a list of products which 
may contain genetically modified ingredients.16 February 1999 
19 February 1999
23 February 1999Shop Assistant, Victoria Street, London (16 February 
1999) and phone call to company Head Office (16 February 1999). 
Discussion with Pharmacist at Boots, Waterloo Station, London (19 
February 1999) confirms that the company policy is still very unclear.
Sandwiches which may contain GM ingredients are still being sold without 
labelling or other warning. (5 March 1999) 
Letters from Nikki Greenfield, Customer Service (22 February and 23 
February 1999) 
British AirwaysNo clear policy on GM food.February 1999Conversation with 
check-in staff.
British Airways CityFlyerNo clear policy on GM food.22 February 1999 
24 February 1999Conversation with check-in staff and airline cabin crew. 
Conversation with Customer Services.
Marks & SpencerNo list of GM products or GM food policy information 
available on the web site.
"Soya and maize are now being produced using genetically modified 
varieties to reduce the amount of chemicals used on the farms. However, 
the crops are not always segregated from the conventional varieties. To 
our knowledge, there are no reliable sources of soya beans available to 
us in sufficient volumes which can be guaranteed free from the 
genetically modified variety, and which can meet the requirements of new 
labelling regulations.
As a result, soya ingredients used in small amounts in St Michael foods 
may contain genetically modified material. These products are always 
clearly labelled to ensure our customers are able to make an informed 
choice. This labelling is now being extended to show where other 
ingredients such as lecithin and oil may be derived from genetically 
modified soya."
(This means that Marks and Spencer is still stocking foods containing GM 
ingredients and will continue to do so.) 17 February 1999FAQs list at 
Marks & Spencer Website and e-mail from Marks and Spencers Customer 
Muller Dairy"At the present time we are unaware of any current 
ingredients that require a statement to the effect that the product 
contains a genetically modified ingredient.
We will constantly review our ingredients and any changes to the 
legislation in order to make sure that our packaging indicates the 
presence of genetically modified ingredients, identified by the current 
(Assume that products may contain GM ingredients which do not require 
labelling)22 February 1999Letter headed "WITHOUT PREJUDICE" from Miss M 
Gater, Customer Relations Assistant
Nestle"We do believe that the responsible use of gene technology in 
agriculture will bring benefits to farmers, industry and consumers. We 
are therefore prepared to use ingredients which may be derived from 
genetically modified crops where it is necessary to do so or a clear 
benefit can be shown...
Nestle UK does not currently sell any products requiring labelling under 
current GM legislation. However, we are aware that the recent debate has 
embraced ingredients which may have come from GM crops but which have 
been purified so they no longer contain any GM material.
(Assume that some products may contain GM ingredients.)26 February 
1999Letter and leaflet from Kath Mort, Administration Advisor, Consumer 
Pret a Manger"Planning to label Genetically Modified food". No labelling 
currently in place.
No policy yet in place.
(Assume that products may contain GM ingredients.)16 February 1999 
24 February 1999Shop Manager, Victoria Street, London
and conversation with Customer Services.
Sainsbury's"In line with legislative requirements, we are currently 
labelling 40-50 own brand products where GM protein or GM DNA is 
present. It is our policy to limit the number of products that contain 
GM material and we continue to work closely with our suppliers on this 
aspect, by sourcing non-GM ingredients wherever possible or by 
reformulating products. In response to the views now being expressed by 
our customers, we intend to extend this GM labelling policy to 
positively label all primary ingredients derived from GM foodstuffs, 
e.g. soya lecithin and soya oils."
Sainsbury's worked with Zeneca to develop GM tomatoes
(Sainsbury's continues to stock food containing GM ingredients.) 15 
February 1999E-mail from Judy Stevenson, Sainsbury's, plus Sainsbury's 
Annual Review 1996Safeway"We believe that genetic modification has the 
potential to provide products with improved quality and flavour, and 
with reduced impact on the environment through the reduced use of 
pesticides and agrochemicals."
(Safeway stocks many products containing GM ingredients.)22 February 
1999Letter from Jan Baker, Safeway Stores PLCSomerfieldContinues to 
stock food containing GM ingredients. For example, Somerfield Soya 
Spread.17 February 1999Daily Telegraph 17 February 1999, page 4
Tesco"We are giving a cautious welcome to the introduction of 
genetically modified products, but we do appreciate the importance of 
our customers being able to make informed choices about the products 
they buy. We also know that some of our customers are concerned about 
foods that may contain genetically modified ingredients, and we have 
therefore pledged to label all of our products accurately and fully 
adhere to the new European regulations."
(This means that Tesco continues to stock foods containing GM 
ingredients.)5 February 1999Letter from Linda Kelly, Customer Service 
Jordan Cereals"Jordans, as a manufacturer of high quality natural 
breakfast cereals and snacks, do not use ingredients which would require 
our products to be labelled as genetically modified."
(The means W Jordan will only label GM foods when legally necessary. In 
the meantime, assume that GM ingredients are present.)24 February 
1999Letter from Chairman, Bill Jordan
Walkers Crisps"Walkers has been faced with the issue of the very small 
levels of some processed ingredients used in our flavourings which have 
been derived from soya beans and maize that could have been genetically 
modified for agricultural purposes. It is with regards to these 
ingredients we await the definitions from the government that tell us 
whether labelling is required or not."
(Walkers has no commitment to remove these GM ingredients from its 
products) 26 February 1999Letter from Mike Gale, Technical Advisor 
Key :
Green - No GM foods being sold by this company.

Orange - The company has made a statement regarding not using GM 
ingredients - awaiting confirmation that current stocks no longer 
contain GM ingredients. This category is also used for companies stating 
that "own brand" products are GM free, but which do not commit to 
removing all brands containing GM ingredients. 

Red - No clear policy and/or company is continuing to stock GM foods.

Legal Note : the sequence and colouring of entries for the companies 
shown above does not imply any difference in the quality of food or 
service provided by each of the companies and should not be interpreted 
as such. The information shown here is believed to be correct at the 
time of upload. 

E-mail additional information to Marcus Williamson