Major supermarkets overseas, including British chains Marks and Spencer�s and Sainsbury�s, would shun New Zealand products made using Genetically Modified grass being developed by AgResearch.
AgResearch�s development of GM grass puts New Zealand food exporters on a collision course with leading supermarkets and consumers around the world, instead of investing in other approaches to reducing New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions.
UK chain Marks and Spencer�s says �since spring 2002, we've been producing all our fresh meat and poultry, salmon, shell eggs and fresh milk from animals fed on a diet based on non-GM cereals and soya�.
�By carefully checking all our manufacturers' factory processes, we prevent our food mixing with any GM materials," says Karen Hahm Jones, M&S Customer Services.
Sainsbury�s Customer Manager Alan Hurd says �we don�t allow the use of GM crops, ingredients, additives or derivatives in our own-brand food, drink, pet food, dietary supplements and floral products.�
�GM-grass is an economic dead-end, certainly for a brand like New Zealand where quality, naturalness and ethical production really matter,�says Jon Carapiet spokesman for GE Free NZ (in food and environment).
�The threat to our food exports across Asia, Europe, as well UK supermarkets is real�, he says. �This is the wrong way to be using gene science in New Zealand, and shows the government urgently needs to intervene on the country�s biotechnology strategy to prevent such mistakes.�
AgResearch is set to apply for trials of GM grass later this year . AgResearch's other applications to ERMA for a wide range of GM animals closed for public submissions in December.
Jon Carapiet 0210507681
Claire Bleakley 027 348 6731 / 06-3089842
- GM grass trial aims to cut cows' gas - Friday Nov 06, 2009 By Eloise Gibson
- Karen Hahm Jones, Marks & Spencer Customer Services
"We also work with a number of laboratories specialising in GM testing. They analyse the ingredients used in Marks & Spencer products and animal feeds, and check our food is non-GM before it goes out on the shelf.�
- Alan Hurd Sainsbury�s Customer Manager;
"Sainsbury�s stock a choice of meat and dairy products sourced from livestock which have been fed a diet of non-GM soya and maize proteins. These include all our Sainsbury�s SO Organic products, farmed salmon, fresh outdoor reared pork and 21-day matured beef from our Taste the Difference range, traditional beef, outdoor reared bacon, all our fresh and frozen chicken and all our eggs from non-caged hens. Our Farm Promise milk is from dairy cattle fed a non-GM diet".