UK Supermarket Chains Ban Meat from Animals Fed GE Feed

Immediate release: Monday 20th December 1999

UK Supermarkets Move Out of GM-fed Animal Products
UK's largest retailer, Tesco, pulling out in 2000

A new survey of British supermarkets [1] by Greenpeace has
revealed that major food retailers are rushing to source meat, eggs and dairy
products from non-GM fed animals to counter widespread customer concern.
Tesco, the largest food retailer in the UK with an annual food turnover of
£13,678 million, has already written to major international animal feed
suppliers, Cargill and Archer Daniel Midlands, informing them of their
intention to obtain the "complete elimination of GM ingredients from
feed." [2].

Although imports of GM soya and maize into Europe have fallen due
to widespread customer resistance, huge quantities of GM crops are still
shipped in to feed animals. In 1998, 6.5 million metric tonnes of US soya
was imported into the EU - the vast majority destined for animal feed. The
decision by major food retailers to insist on animal products from non-GM
sources will have a major impact on agriculture in the USA, Canada and
Argentina (the major GM-crop growing countries) whilst bringing good news
to GM-free farmers in Brazil and Europe.

John Sauven, Campaign Director at Greenpeace, said:
"British supermarkets are racing to rid themselves of the last
vestiges of GM contamination as a result of direct consumer pressure. GM
animal feed has become a key target in the battle against genetic
contamination in Europe. Farmers in the USA and Canada should switch to
non-GM crops before their multi-billion dollar international market

The supermarket chain Iceland has stated that the ban on
genetically modified ingredients in the feed given to its whole range of fresh and
frozen poultry will take effect from February, 2000. Iceland is second to
Tesco in poultry sales. Iceland predicts its switch to non-GM animal feed
will ensure non-GM supplies across Europe. The Sainsbury's supermarket
chain said "it was inevitable that we should turn our attention to the presence
of GM constituents in animal feedstuffs."

John Sauven continued:
"The sudden rush by UK food retailers to abandon GM animal feed is
a decisive blow to the biotechnology industry and the multinationals who
seek to shove GM products down the throats of Europeans. This Christmas may be
the last that we have to put up with GM-fed turkey on the menu and will
bring good news for farmers around the world who are GM-free."

The Greenpeace survey was based on correspondence and telephone
calls with all of the UK's major food retailers during October, November
and December 1999. Full results are available from Greenpeace along with
copies of all correspondence.

Contact:John Sauven 07712 299 484
Blake Lee-Harwood 0171 865 8256 07801
212969 (m)

Notes to Editors

[1] Full results available from Greenpeace UK press office

[1] Tesco letters to Cargill, ADM and UK National Farmers Union,

The Soya Market
Figures for Brazilian Exports to Europe - Volumes given are the
combined figure for soybeans and soybean meal.
1996 - 10,135, 000 Metric Tons = 10.135 Million Metric Tons
1997 - 14,342,000 Metric Tons = 14.342 Million Metric Tons
1998 - 15,130,000 Metric Tons = 15.130 Million Metric Tons
i.e. Brazilian exports to Europe (Non-GM soya) are up from 10.135
million tons in 1996, when GM soya was first introduced, to 15.130 million
tons in 1998

Figures for US Exports to Europe - Volumes given are the combined
figure for soybeans and soybean meal.
1996 - 8,854,111 Metric Tons = 8.854 Million Metric Tons
Total value in 1996 was $ 2945 Million ($2.945 Billion)
1997 - 8,288,923 Metric Tons = 8.289 Million Metric Tons
Total value in 1997 was $ 2350 Million ($2.35 Billion)
1998 - 6,571,606 Metric Tons = 6.572 Million Metric Tons
Total value in 1998 was $ 1,527 Million ($1.527 Billion)
ie. - Down from 8.854 million tons in 1996, when GM soya was first
introduced, to 6.571 million tons in 1998 (figures for this year,1999, are
not yet available).

Other relevant figures
Total value of US soybean & soybean meal exports worldwide in 1998
$ 6,439 Million (i.e. $6.439 Billion)
Value of US soybeans & soybean meal exports to Europe in 1998 = $
1,526.92 Million (i.e. $1.527 Billion)
Therefore exports to Europe accounted for 23% of US soybeans and
soybean meal exports in 1998.
In 1996 Europe accounted for $2472 Million from a total of $8,754
Million = 28% of US soybeans & meal exports from the US.
i.e. - US exports to Europe were 28% of US exports in 1998 but
Europe now takes only 23% of US exports

Neil Verlander
Press Office
Friends of the Earth
0171 566 1649