For Gilda and others not fans of GM foods : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) Preparation Forum : One Thread

From the BBC:

Saturday, September 18, 1999 Published at 12:05 GMT 13:05 UK

Britain's biggest fast-food chains, including McDonald's and Burger King, say they have removed genetically-modified (GM) ingredients from their menus in time for the introduction of new labelling laws.

Friends of the Earth surveyed 11 leading chains and found all said they did not use GM soya or maize.

The government has ordered all food containing GM ingredients to be labelled from Sunday following implementation of a European Union directive last September.

Caterers, shops, food-makers and restaurants must all comply or face fines.

However, FoE highlighted a loophole in the legislation which meant food outlets could supply meals which contained GM derivatives such as GM lecithin and GM soya oil without having to tell customers.

Two of the companies surveyed - Pret a Manger and Domino's Pizza - said they had removed GM derivatives while a further six said they were removing them.

Pete Riley, senior food campaigner at FoE, said: "This survey shows that restaurants recognise that customers do not want to eat food containing GM ingredients or derivatives and that most are now removing them as fast as they can.

"However, restaurants might well ask why they have to go to all the trouble and expense to ensure that their meals don't contain ingredients that neither they nor their customers want.

"Surely the bill should be picked up by the big biotech companies who stand to make vast sums of money from this new technology."

Several major supermarket chains, including Sainsury's and Marks and Spencer, are removing all GM ingredients from own-brand ranges.

Their decisions follow that of frozen food retailer Iceland, which announced that none of its own-label produce would contain GM ingredients in April 1998.

'Unaware of deadline'

But Mr Riley said that rather than introducing labelling schemes which were unlikely to be enforced, the government should listen to consumers and back calls for a five-year freeze on GM food and crops.

McDonald's, Perfect Pizza, KFC, Pizza Hut and City Centre Restaurants (which includes Cafe Uno and Deep Pan Pizza) said they were removing GM derivatives.

Wimpy said it would be free of the derivatives by the end of the year while Burger King and Granada said they were monitoring and reviewing the situation.

More than half of the UK's food outlets said they were unaware of the labelling deadline, in a BBC survey last week.

Of 262 food outlets across the country, only 53% said they were aware of the deadline.

The report also found that only 45% said they would be ready to comply with the new regulations in time.

Only 17% said they had received enough information about the new rules and 57% had had none at all. Special report and related stories at the site:

-- Old Git (, September 18, 1999


OG, This topic gets my blood boiling. It's so obvious how wrong the GM foods are and the blatant greed of the companies producing them-- as well as their power in this country to force the farmers to use them and the consumers to eat their food. It is a real horror story. Someone posted (on the other board) a piece about bees dying due to this grotesque crop. Without bees, where is humanity? The complexity of our interconnectedness isn't just electronic, for goodness sake. Grrrr.

-- Mara Wayne (, September 18, 1999.

ET, 20 September:

EU is warned by America over curbs on GM foods By Charles Clover, Environment Editor, in Geneva

AMERICA will challenge EU curbs on genetically modified food if they are "unscientific" under world trade rules.

The food labelling scheme for restaurants, introduced by Britain, is one of the likely targets for complaint. Frank Loy, deputy to Madeleine Albright and United States under secretary for global affairs, said at a high-level private forum at the weekend that America had been "relatively patient" in waiting for EU approval of new GM crops.

However, it would not wait forever and was not prepared to see further restrictions on imports, such as GM soya, that had already been approved. Mr Loy said: "We have two problems: a failure to approve importation of certain new products and a number of products which have been approved under a process the Europeans set up themselves with, so far as I know, no ill-effects whatsoever. If that [process] were tampered with, we would have a much, much more serious situation."

The US has sent papers to the World Trade Organisation saying that the mandatory labelling of food, such as that now imposed unilaterally by Britain at restaurants, can amount to a barrier to trade. Trade experts believe that labelling of GM products by the EU is now the most likely issue to form the subject of a complaint to the WTO dispute panel - the most powerful sanction any country can resort to short of war.

Mr Loy, a former conservationist and one of the most sensitive in the administration to the charge that free trade can be harmful to the environment, warned nevertheless that the United States was concerned about the EU's effective two-year moratorium on the approval of GM crops while an EU directive on the release of GM crops is updated.

"The EU needs to look at its regulatory mechanisms," he said. "In the past it has approved a lot of products. It has more lately not approved anything, just sat on them. I think that a sound, science-based transparent process of looking at these questions and coming to conclusions about them would be a step forward." Mr Loy said that the different attitude to GM crops in Europe and America "might be a cultural thing" but it "doesn't seem to be consistent with any of the rules we have".

If countries were unable to find scientific reasons to justify banning products on environmental or health grounds, they should admit that they could not comply with the rules and pay compensation or face up to trade sanctions, he said.

Mr Loy was talking at a one-day forum in Geneva attended by Michael Meacher, the environment minister, senior EU officials and Klaus Tvpfer, head of the United Nations Environment Programme. The forum was set up in an attempt to head off a major row over the use of environmental standards as barriers to trade which threatens to overwhelm the World Trade Organisation's meeting in Seattle in December.

Michael Meacher said: "There are certain issues which are clearly potential or actual conflicts. This probably is the best opportunity that we have to try to resolve them." He defended the testing procedures Britain had set up, saying that they were scientific but would take time and were not imposed as blocking measures, unlike those introduced by some other European countries.

Ministers and trade experts spent the weekend exploring a number of "win-win" measures likely to appeal to the three power blocks that will need to be appeased at the Seattle talks - the North Americans, the EU and the developing world.

They decided that fisheries subsidies, agriculture subsidies and subsidies on fossil fuels should all be reduced.

18 September 1999: [UK News] We broke law on GM crop trials, minister admits

14 September 1999: [UK News] Cunningham hints at secret GM sites

13 September 1999: [UK News] Britain is missing the biotech boat, warns Glaxo head

9 September 1999: [UK News] GM crop trials 'are not tough enough'

-- Old Git (, September 20, 1999.


Do you have a specific reason for believing that GM foods ar ebad for your health?

-- Rick (, September 24, 1999.

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