Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Thursday, August 19, 1999 Published at 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK


UK

M&S to remove GM products from animal feed

M&S says it is responding to pressure from customers

Marks & Spencer says it has become the first food retailer to remove genetically modified (GM) soya and maize ingredients from animal feed, a move that could force food prices higher by 15%.

Prices of meat, milk and eggs could rise by 10% to 15% from October, a move which will test public demand for non-GM food.

M&S said it was responding to customer pressure for choice when it comes to buying meat, milk and eggs and wanted to ensure that consumers could choose to consume livestock products from animals reared on non-GM diet.

Even if customers are willing to pay extra, some question how easy it is to be sure food is GM free. About two million tonnes of soya and of maize are imported mainly from the US, where GM and non-GM ingredients are mixed but Experts say it should still be possible to source non-GM animal feed.


[ image: M&S wants its suppliers to remove GM ingredients from their animal feed]
M&S wants its suppliers to remove GM ingredients from their animal feed
Dr Tom Clayton, head of food technology at M&S, commented: "Our customers continue to ask for further choice in the food they eat.

"We have responded by changing the feed in the production of free range chicken, eggs and pork. Customers will be able to purchase these products from selected stores in October.


The BBC's Nichola Carslaw reports: "Finding non-GM supplies will not be easy"
"Removing GM ingredients from animal diets is a major challenge for the industry. We continue to talk with our customers, suppliers and farmers to monitor both demand for the product and the implications of a wider roll out."

He added that all products within the existing M&S organic range were already produced without the use of GM feed.

Consumer concern

Along with other major food retailers - including Tesco, Asda, Safeway and Sainsbury's - M&S has been working to remove all GM ingredients from its own-brand food range in response to consumer alarm about the introduction of controversial GM ingredients.

It announced last month that it had removed all GM ingredients and derivatives from the entire M&S food range.

Although the company said that it recognised the potential benefits of GM foods it remained sensitive to consumer concerns about the new technology.

Anti-GM campaigners happy

Welcoming the announcement anti-GM campaign group Friends of the Earth (FoE) said other food companies should now follow suit.

FoE's Adrian Bebb commented: "We are delighted that M&S are listening to its customers' concerns on this issue. Other food manufacturers must now follow suit and give the British public what they want.

"This move is a further blow to the Government which is continuing to promote GM crops despite the obvious fact that hardly anyone in the country wants them."





Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©


UK Contents

Northern Ireland
Scotland
Wales
England

Relevant Stories

19 Aug 99 | Americas
US farmers in GM revolution

18 Aug 99 | UK Politics
Kennedy to call for GM restrictions

17 Aug 99 | UK
GM crops - a scarecrow just won't work

16 Aug 99 | Sci/Tech
Shoppers raise GM food fear

30 Jun 99 | UK
M&S first to go GM-free





Internet Links


Marks and Spencer

Friends of the Earth


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online