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Tuesday, February 16, 1999 Published at 01:07 GMT


GM soya 'in Linda McCartney food'

Sir Paul McCartney: We are living in a GM world

Sir Paul McCartney has vowed to eliminate genetically-modified ingredients from his late wife's range of vegetarian foods.

BBC Two's Newsnight tests Linda McCartney mince for traces of GM ingredients
The former Beatle said he was shocked to hear that modified soya had been found in Linda McCartney products.

His pledge follows claims made by BBC Two's Newsnight programme that Linda McCartney's vegetarian sausages and mince contained genetically-modified (GM) soya, despite assurances from the company that they did not.

Food under the microscope
The programme said scientific tests it commissioned showed that Linda McCartney mince and sausages contained Monsanto's Round-Up Ready genetically-modified soya.

[ image: Linda McCartney: Popularised vegetarian food in Britain]
Linda McCartney: Popularised vegetarian food in Britain
Sir Paul said he disputed the findings, but if they were true the problem would have arisen from the fact that last year GM soya and non-GM soya were being mixed by some producers, making it hard to trace the GM ingredients.

In a statement the singer said: "We are unfortunately living in a GM world - I wish we weren't - and because of that we run constant risks of contamination, for instance from GM crops blown by the wind on to non-GM crops.

"However, given our background and what we believe in, I trust that people will realise that there is no way on earth that the McCartney family is going to try and sneak GMOs (genetically modified organisms) into our products."

[ image: Mince packet shows no sign of GM ingredients]
Mince packet shows no sign of GM ingredients
A BBC spokesman said: "We are confident that these results are correct."

Sir Paul vowed to continue his wife's animal rights and vegetarian campaigns after she died of cancer last April at the age of 56.

Concern has grown in Britain over the presence of GM ingredients in foods. Prime Minister Tony Blair has sought to calm nerves by stating that he is happy to eat the foods himself.

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