Greenpeace action at Swiss Nestle headquarters, over repeated discovery of GE ingredients in their Asian products.
Greenpeace today stepped up pressure against the world´s largest
food producer Nestlé for continuing to sell genetically
contaminated food, including baby food, in several Asian
Over the last year, testing of food in Thailand, the Philippines
and China/Hong Kong has repeatedly shown contamination in products
of the Swiss-based food giant, which despite local opposition to GE
in food has refused to stop the use of genetically engineered (GE)
ingredients, or label GE food.
To symbolise Nestlé´s ruthless overseas practice, 40 Greenpeace
activists dressed in black suits force-fed baby dolls with the
company´s Asian GE food products in front of the company´s
headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland. In a banner, Nestlé´s logo
featured an aggressive black bird nesting with the text 'Shut up
In Hong Kong, Greenpeace activists gathered in a football
stadium and used nearly 10,000 petition postcards collected from
consumers in the past few weeks to compose a gigantic X over the
Nestlé logo to show their disapproval of GE food the company is
sneaking into the local market. In Bangkok, Greenpeace dumped boxes
of GE contaminated Nestlé baby food at the Consumer Services
Department of Nestlé´s head office in Thailand.
"The fact that we have signatures from nearly 10,000 consumers
shows that the Hong Kong public have become sick and tired of the
lack of action by food companies such as Nestlé. Nestlé should not
be allowed to continue trampling on the rights of consumers to
access GE-free food. This company has the worst record and the
worst attitude," said Sze Pang Cheung, Genetic Engineering
Campaigner, Greenpeace China.
In recent replies to Greenpeace concerning their policy in these
countries, Nestlé said that they "… take into consideration local
needs, cultural differences and consumer preferences as well as
attitudes concerning the use of ingredients derived from
genetically modified crops". In May, Greenpeace representatives met
with Nestlé at its headquarters but with disappointing results.
"Is Nestlé seriously suggesting that there is a local, or a
cultural need or preference for the use of GE ingredients in Thai
baby food? Nestlé is practising a cowardly policy: It avoids GE
ingredients only in the countries where labelling is required but
continues to sneak them into countries that do not yet have
adequate labelling legislation. Nestlé knows fully well that
consumers don´t want GE in their food - not in Asia any more than
in Europe. We demand that Nestlé quit its double standards and
adopt a single policy of no GE," said Varoonvarn Svangsopakul,
Greenpeace Genetic Engineering Campaigner, in Thailand.
Greenpeace opposes the genetic manipulation of food because of
its potential danger to the environment and human health. There are
concerns that GE foods may trigger new allergic reactions, affect
antibiotic treatments, or introduce new toxins.