200 Cities Join Week of Action
Against Safeway and Others

Corporate Responsibility News

October 28, 2002

Consumer groups to target supermarkets in campaign against GM foods NEW
YORK (AFX-GEM) - The Organic Consumers Association and several
environmental groups are calling on US supermarket chains to remove
genetically-modified ingredients from their store-brand products, a
spokesman for the campaign said Friday.

The weeklong campaign to launch on Saturday targets major supermarket
chains, including Safeway, Shaw's, Food Emporium, Publix, and Food Lion.
It will include petitions, letter-writing and leaflet distribution at
the stores.

"Supermarkets are where most people in the US buy their food, which is
why we're targeting them in this campaign," said Simon Harris, campaign
director for the Organic Consumers Association. The Minnesota-based
group has about 400,000 members nationwide.

Harris noted that a substantial percentage of supermarket sales are the
stores' brand-name products, whose ingredients the stores can directly

"We're trying to convey to supermarket chains that consumers don't want
genetically modified food," said Harris, citing several recent polls
that indicate some 90 pct of American consumers favor the labeling of GM
foods. "The majority of Americans want GM foods labeled so they can
choose to avoid them. Consumers have clearly spoken, now Safeway needs
to listen."

US law currently does not require food companies to label the GM
ingredients in their products.

Since the US first commercialized GM crops in 1996, the government has
maintained that GM foods are no different in nutritional content and
safety level from other foods and require no special labels.

Environmental and consumer groups that oppose GM foods say they have not
been adequately tested for their long-term health effects and potential
impact on the environment. The groups have called for a moratorium on
the commercialization of GM food products until further testing can
ensure their safety.

"Since the government won't regulate these foods, we are using
market-based pressure to convey the fact that we don't want to be eating
this stuff," said Harris.

"One of our primary goals is to educate consumers about the food they
are buying and to make them aware some that some of the ingredients they
are eating have not been adequately tested."

About 75 pct of soybean crops and 30 pct of corn grown in the US are
genetically modified, according to US Department of Agriculture figures.
Other commercialized GM food crops include canola, squash and papaya.

Among foods noted by the Organic Consumers Association as likely to
contain GM ingredients are cereals, cookies, candies, soy milk, soft
drinks, canola oil, and taco shells. In addition, much of US milk,
cheese, yogurt, ice cream and other dairy products come from cows
injected with Monsanto's genetically engineered Bovine Growth Hormone.

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