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Wednesday, 23 February, 2000, 06:46 GMT
Supermarket rejects GM-fed livestock
Iceland frozen food store
Iceland has laid down the gauntlet to competitors
Supermarket chain Iceland has announced that all its livestock for meat production would be reared on a non-GM diet from September - and urged the industry's larger companies to follow its lead.

The north Wales-based company threw down the gauntlet to competitors to follow its example and make the UK GM-free by the end of 2000.

The company was the first in the world to remove genetically modified ingredients from its own product range in May 1998.

'Uphill battle'

More recently it succeeded in producing its own brand GM-free reared poultry by purchasing 6,000 tonnes of non-GM soya meal to help its suppliers become non-GM at no extra cost to the consumer.

Bill Wadsworth, Technical Director for Iceland, said: "We have been trying to make our animal feed non-GM for some time but it has been an uphill battle because of the reluctance of some elements of the supply chain to meet the demands of our customers.

"Only by creating the demand for a large supply of non-GM feed can we make the UK non-GM.

Market trends

"The decision has to be made by those in the food industry within the next six weeks if they want to ensure a good price for September's soya crop, otherwise they will become subject to market trends and costs."

Mr Wadsworth added: "It is beneficial from a marketing point of view for suppliers to be able to say their own brand product is fed on a non-GM diet."

Iceland is now offering its surplus non-GM soya meal to other retailers, food producers and farmers to help make their animal feed non-GM.

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See also:

06 Oct 99 |  Medical notes
Food additives factfile
30 Oct 99 |  Business Basics
Genetically modified food and consumers
20 Jan 00 |  Business
Retail jobs galore
04 Nov 99 |  Wales
Iceland cracks egg myth
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