Gene detectives in action.
The new EU rules mean that now shoppers can easily reject food
containing GE ingredients as all products ranging from margarine to
popcorn now have to clearly state if they are GE. To help
consumers, our GE consumer guides or red/green lists are being
released in more than 20 countries in the Americas, Europe and the
GE food: Not in my trolley!
In Europe we have also launched operation Trolley Watch, where
active consumers and 'Gene detectives' are joining up to rid
supermarket shelves of GE foods. Luckily very few food items in
Europe contain GE ingredients, thanks to massive consumer
opposition. With the help of the public, we have started to closely
monitor the situation through Trolley Watch to ensure that the
European food market remains closed to GE products.
"We are confident that European food companies and retailers
will have the wisdom to keep on shunning GE food," said our
consumer campaigner Martina Holbach. "We have the tools and
consumer support to force such products off the market."
Public says no
Public stances against the products have already begun. The
largest German supermarket chain Edeka, with the help of our 'gene
detectives' conducted consumer education to identify GE products
last Friday. Edeka has made clear commitments to avoid GE
ingredients in their own brand products.
Friday morning 15 German gene detectives and one Sherlock Holmes
styled activist informed journalists and consumers about the new
labelling regulations. With the slogan 'Genetic Engineering - Open
your eyes, keep your hands off' the detectives explained how
consumers can shop ge free," explains Stephanie Töwe our GE
campaigner in Germany.
The activists distributed shopping guides which list food brands
from over 400 companies and also an action postcard "Become a gene
detective". Similar activities were also held throughout
Local French groups organised information stands in 18 towns
across the country. The new French consumer guide was also
distributed and guided tours of supermarkets were organised to
point out to shoppers where GE products could be hiding on the
Martina Holbach headed up the gene detective action in
Luxembourg in several shopping centres. The detectives found six GE
labelled products, all imported from the US by the French company
SDV. Needless to say, our gene detectives demanded that Auchan´s
management take the products from their shelves. They have yet to
Our Luxembourg Gene Detectives continued their action on
Saturday. "People saw us on TV the evening before and wanted to
become Gene Detectives. Even people who said they normally don't
support Greenpeace were very concerned about GE in their food and
were participating in our initiative. We will happily continue our
mission in the coming weeks," said Barbara Haas, our volunteer
Although these great actions will boost consumer rejection this
legislation is far from perfect. There is a loophole in the law
that allows meat and dairy products from animals reared on a diet
of GE feed to be sold without a label to this effect.
For consumer choice to be meaningful, meat and dairy products
from animals fed with GE feed must be labelled too. Some 80 percent
of the current worldwide GE crops are used in animal feed. Since
the new EU rules and a traceability system in place require the
animal feed itself to be labelled, there is no excuse to exclude
meat and dairy products from the requirements.
- For more information about the implications of the new EU
labelling and traceability rules
For the latest information from the GE campaign check out our website
information on the French action.
on the German action.
More information on the Luxembourg action.