Consumers won't buy it. Retailers won't sell it. Food producers won't inlcude it. What part of NO don't they understand?
The EU market is worth over 1 thousand billion Euros in annual
food and drink sales. It is effectively closed to GE-labelled
ingredients according to policies of leading retailers and food
producers, as revealed in the Greenpeace
EU Markets Report, published today.
49 of the 60 top companies contacted have a non-GE policy in
their own brands either throughout the EU or at least in the market
where they make the majority of their sales. A further 8 companies
gave a non-GE commitment in a number of countries but not yet in
all of their EU markets. Two companies never responded and one
company, the Dutch Royal Ahold (Albert Heijn), uses GE ingredients
in 3 to 5 of its own brand products but noted that this number is
declining. A significant number of companies stated that their
policy applied globally or company wide.
New European legislation requiring the labelling and
traceability of GE products came into force in April 2004.
Since that time, our volunteers and cyberactivists have been
patrolling supermarkets as "Gene Detectives."
monitor the shelves and report GE-labelled food by uploading pictures
of the products to an interactive map. To date, very few
products in a handful of countries (The Netherlands, UK, Czech
Republic, Slovakia, and France) have been reported.
The wide-spread nature of the consumer and company rejection of
GE products has now been sustained over many years in Europe.
This demonstrates that excluding GE ingredients is possible in
practise on a large scale. Labelling polices are practical for
other countries such as Japan, Brazil, and the US, where consumers
have an equal right to know what their food is made from, and ought
to be given the choice what to buy.
The US food industry is resisting labelling laws in the US and
Canada because it claims it is not possible and too expensive. But
the very same companies making these claims have plants in the US
making labelled GE products for Europe and elsewhere and the same
products unlabelled for the US market. Obviously it's not a case of
impossible or expensive, more a case of not wanting to. Imagine
those companies having to give US and Canadian consumers a choice
about GE food!
But the US government is on the side of the US food industry and
has taken a lawsuit to the World Trade Organisation, accusing EU
legislation of setting up unfair trade barriers to GE products.
This study provides further evidence that the lost exports have in
fact been caused by consumer and food industry rejection in Europe,
not EU policies.
The fact is: people don't want to buy it. Stores don't want to
sell it. And the GE multinationals can't make us eat it.
Live in the EU? Look for GE products in your supermarket, and report them at
Or send this
e-card to your friends demanding that the Bush Administration
stop trying to use the WTO to force feed GE products on the
Then help support the fight against GE worldwide; donate to