ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network

3 February 2003


CTV Television Online, Canada, 31/01/2003
Heinz goes green, guarantees baby food GMO-free News Staff

For the first time, Canada's largest maker of baby food is  guaranteeing that it isn't using genetically modified  ingredients. Activists are congratulating Heinz for going  "green."

 "It's the first time, like I said that any company has  been forthright in saying that they're not using  genetically engineered food in their baby foods," Pat  Venditti of Greenpeace told CTV. Greenpeace is still  pressuring companies such as Nestle, Mead Johnson and other  baby food manufacturers to offer GMO-free products. Last  year, Greenpeace and INFACT Canada commissioned a survey to  show that buyers of baby formula and food what they were  getting. The survey found that some of the most popular  brand names contained GM ingredients. CTV food specialist  reporter Jennifer Tryon says Greenpeace launched an  Internet shoppers' colour guide coding all foods that  contain GM ingredients last October. At the time,  Greenpeace says Heinz couldn't guarantee that its soy  cereal was GMO-free. The organization says consumer  pressure is helping to change the way big companies think.

 Heinz recently came forward to say that its soy cereal  should be included in the "green list" indicating that it  is "non-GE."

 Still, the Canadian government has yet to issue guidelines  for labelling GMO-free products. That means consumers can't  always tell if a product contains GM ingredients when  they're selecting items at the grocery store. Laurie Curry  of the Food and Consumer Products Manufacturers of Canada  said in an interview late last year that about 70 per cent  of all products on grocery shelves "likely" contain GM  ingredients. At the time, Curry said the figure isn't exact  because Ottawa is still working on a standard to define  what should be considered genetically modified. "The most  important thing for consumers and mums with babies is that  all of these products have been approved (by Ottawa),  meaning they're safe for use," the registered dietitian  said. Greenpeace and INFACT Canada have said that  genetically engineered products introduce novel proteins  that may create new toxins and allergens that may not be  good for small children.

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