Ronald McDonald quits in protest when he learns that his hens are fed on GE chicken feed
"I'm so upset to learn that stores named after me are using
GE-fed chicken," said Ronald. The iconic red and yellow character
was encouraging McDonalds' customers to send
messages demanding that the fast food chain stop using GE chicken
feed and commit to a non-GE poultry, egg and ingredient
Mr McDonald was accompanied by a flock of indignant chickens
wearing bibs with the message "Say NO to McGE - GE fed chicken."
The poultry protesters handed out mock 'happy meal' packs with
crayons, stickers and colour-in postcards for customers to send to
the fast food giant demanding they make the shift to non-GE
Greenpeace spokesperson Steve Abel commended Ronald's protest
actions. "It seems like a bit of fun but it's actually a serious
issue," said Abel. Imported GE soy feed is the biggest source of GE
contamination in the New Zealand food chain." McDonald's chicken is
supplied by Australian poultry giant Inghams who bring in around
50,000 tonnes of GE contaminated soy annually.
"McDonald's and Inghams should stop using GE ingredients and
feed, out of a commitment to customer preference, concerns about
potential health impacts and for the good of the environment," said
Abel. Independent research found that 75 percent of consumers
wanted chickens that had not been fed GE soy meal. Tegel, New
Zealand's largest poultry company, have an active non-GE feed
policy and import certified non-GE feed from the US.
Ingham claim that their next shipment of soy meal into New
Zealand, due in June, is non-GE soy from Brazil. However, according
to Ingham, the shipment is not certified as non-GE so it could be
significantly GE contaminated. Inghams also have no commitment to
sourcing non-GE soy now or in the future. This unverified shipment
cannot legitimately be used to claim a non-GE policy by Inghams or
"GE soy production in the US and Argentina has led to increased
chemical use, lower yields, herbicide resistant weeds and
contamination of conventional crops." McDonald's already has a
Europe-wide policy of excluding GE in food and poultry feed.
Ronald's iconic smile was twisted with disillusionment as he
handed in his resignation to management. "I'm not clowning around"
he stated in the brief message scrawled on blue paper.
Greenpeace in global GE blitz
Elsewhere, Greenpeace has launched global oppostion to GE
products by land, sea, and supermarket:
Bilbao, Spain: On April 20th, Greenpeace volunteers and
activists in Spain occupied the soya processing facilities of
Moyresa/Bunge in Cartagena to highlight the importation of an
estimated 4 millions tons of GE soya into Spain. On April 21st,
Moyresa/Bunge has announced that it is going to convert its
facility in Bilbao, Spain to a GE free zone. Victory!
Porto Allegre, Brazil: Greenpeace's "Biosafety
Patrol" exposes shippers of GE "caught in the act" of violating
the Brazilian legislation and international laws the ship Saturn V
is boarded and inspected by a team of Greenpeace volunteers. The
ship was loading GE soy with no documentation, in violation of the
Cartagena convention which stipulates that no GE products can be
transported without documentation identifying them as GE.
European Union: New labelling laws went into effect on
Sunday which mandate that agricultural products for human
consumption containing GE be identified as such. Greenpeace has
Watch" to help consumers identify and expose GE products in
their own supermarkets.