McDONALDS' PROMISES GM-FREE IN ANIMAL
FOOD IN EUROPE
It is now urgent that all animal feed be guaranteed GM-free. Until this autumn UK Government Ministers and industry bodies reassured consumers that a heating process used in feed manufacture killed any DNA in animal fodder.
BUT an independent study by the Advisory Committee on Animal Feeding Stuffs revealed in October 2000 that GM genes are surviving the manufacturing process which turns GM crops into animal food, making it likely that large fragments of genetically modified DNA could be entering the human food chain, according to the committee.
This means there can no longer be any doubt that products such as chicken, turkey, beef and pork may be contaminated with modified genes if the animals they are from have been fed on GM feed.
The UK's Food and Farming Minister has commented that consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the effects of GM animal feed. It is time for industry to act and for citizens to take action where they fail to do so.
Dr. Gerald B. Guest, Director of the FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM):
"...animal feeds derived from genetically modified plants present unique animal and food safety concerns ... Residues of plant constituents or toxicants in meat and milk products may pose human food safety problems."
Dr Andrew Chesson, vice chairman of European Commission scientific committee on animal nutrition: "Potentially disastrous effects may come from undetected harmful substances in genetically modified foods."
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PRESS RELEASE - GREENPEACE CANADA 14 November 2000
McDonald's promises GM-free animal food in Europe; will Canada be next?
Toronto - Responding to pressure from Greenpeace, McDonald's today announced that by April 2001 all its restaurants in Germany, Denmark and Sweden will serve only chicken raised on feed free of genetically modified ingredients.
Greenpeace urged the company to extend this commitment to Canada. "McDonald's has realized that the majority of consumers do not want genetically modified (GM) food - even in animal products, such as dairy products and meat, "said Greenpeace campaigner Michael Khoo.
"If the company can protect its customers from GM food in several countries, it should guarantee Canadians that same protection."
In July, Greenpeace Germany proved that McDonald's fed genetically modified soya to chickens, which were then sold as Chicken McNuggets and McChicken Burgers to its customers. Local Greenpeace groups in more than 50 German cities have protested in front of the fast-food outlets with a message "Los Genos: Genetic Engineering Week at McDonalds".
McDonald's commitment comes after its competitor in Germany, Burger King, had previously declared its chicken to be GM-free as of 2001. Germany's largest chicken producers already guarantee that the soya they use has not been genetically modified.
"The demand for GM-free animal feed in increasing. At least 15 000 hectares of land are planted with soya just to feed the chickens for McDonald's in Germany. This is an issue for all food companies. It is growing and will not go away," says Khoo.
For more information: Cim Nunn 416/597-8408
michael khoo, greenpeace genetic engineering campaign
ph:416.597.8408x3017 cell:416.569.8408 fax:416.597.8422
250 dundas st. w. # 605, toronto, on, m5t 2z5