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MAJOR US COMPANIES
DROP GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOODS
IN EUROPE

Most leading companies supplying food and drink to European consumers are turning their backs on genetically engineered (GE) ingredients and derivatives, a new survey by Friends of the Earth Europe (FoEE) reveals. The survey's publication coincides with the launch of a new campaign by FoEE groups in twenty-two countries across Europe calling for a halt to the genetically modified organism (GMO) pollution of food and the environment.

The survey shows that most of the top food manufacturers are aware of opposition to GMOs throughout Europe and have been forced to take action. The same companies in the U.S., however, have yet to make take similar action.

"It's only a matter of time before these companies are forced to make the same commitment to consumers here at home," said Larry Bohlen, Safer Food -Safer Farms campaign director for Friends of the Earth, U.S. "If companies are feeling the heat from 22 European nations, wait until they start hearing from 50 American states."

Bohlen noted that legislation to ban or to label genetically engineered foods has been introduced in several states including Minnesota, California, Vermont and Maine-and just last week, the Boston City Council voted unanimously in favor of a resolution to ban GE foods.

Friends of the Earth contacted 21 of the world's top food and drink companies and asked them for their policy on GMO ingredients and derivatives in the food they sold in Europe:

Companies that said that they currently source all their ingredients from GMO-free crops for the food and drink they sell in Europe, include Pepsi Cola, Coca Cola, Heinz, Mars, Danone, Kelloggs, Campbell Foods, Cadbury Schweppes and Kraft/ Jacobs/ Suchard. Almost all of these indicated that they also use GMO-free derivatives. And Europe's top fast food chain McDonald's Europe "have asked suppliers to source non-GM ingredients, additives and processing aids."

Liana Stupples, GMO campaign coordinator for Friends of the Earth Europe said: "This survey shows how food manufacturers are being forced to listen to European consumers increasingly concerned about potential health and environmental damage from GMO food and crops."

Today, at a Brussels press conference, Friends of the Earth Europe announced the launch of a new Europe-wide campaign to halt GMO pollution. FoEE groups in twenty-two countries across Europe will aim to safeguard for the people of Europe the right to choose GMO-free food, to grow GMO-free crops and to protect GMO-free habitats.

For direct quotes from corporate responses to the survey, please see the Friends of the Earth,

Written by: Friends of the Earth "Safer Foods, Safer Farms" Campaign


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