Coming to a Morrisons near you – MONSANTO!

The insidious encroachment of GM into the UK food chain continues unabated. I was advised by the Institute of Science in Society (ISIS) that Morrisons were planning to drop the requirement for GM-free Poultry, and would I please take action and tell them not to.

This I did, via the on-line ‘Contact Us’ form at https://www.morrisons.co.uk/Help-and-information/Contact-Us/ and shortly after received a nice reply from Dawn, of the Customer Services Department, which reads as follows:-

“Good afternoon

Thank you for your email.

Morrisons is not altering its policy on the use of GM in food: we do not use genetically modified ingredients in any of our own brand products and have no plans to change this. However, in order to ease pressure on farmers and to strengthen our ability to hold down prices for consumers, we are no longer specifying that our poultry farmers use non-GM feed. At the same time we are introducing measures to improve the sustainability of the feed supply chain.

The cost of feed is the major item of expenditure for most livestock farmers. Uniquely, poultry farmers have faced restrictions on the use of GM feed, notably soya. As non-GM soya is 10-15% more expensive, this is adding costs to producers and putting pressure on the price of staple products, like eggs. With global soya production already 77% GM and rising, maintaining a restriction on authorised GM soya (which has passed rigorous safety tests) will be increasingly difficult and costly to maintain.

Morrisons is alive to concerns over the impacts of both GM and non-GM soya production on the natural environment, such as the Cerrado in Brazil. We are working to improve the sustainability of the feed supply chain by investing in research into alternative protein sources and the development of home-grown soya, which would reduce reliance on imports in the future.

Importantly, we are also looking to increase the use of certified sustainable soya in our supply chain, through initiatives such as the Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS). The RTRS is the only multi-stakeholder certification scheme for soya, which is supported by WWF, and certifies GM soya. As WWF recognises, “If we want to curb the key negative impacts of mainstream soya production it is necessary to engage with key soya producers, regardless of production system.”

Food from animals fed on authorised GM crops is as safe as food from animals fed on non-GM crops. However, we understand that some customers want meat products that are from animals fed a non-GM diet and we offer those consumers choice through our organic range.

Kindest regards,”

Dawn had been very naughty!

She had omitted to tell me that Monsanto is the prime mover behind the Roundtable on Responsible Soy, and in all probability the WWF had been coerced into joining up with the prospect of saving rainforest somewhere. Monsanto now has a Trojan horse with which to make another back-door attempt to get into the UK food chain, and there is no sign of any rainforest having been saved.

Accordingly, I sent another on-line message to Dawn, as follows:-

“Attn. Dawn, Customer Services Department.
Hello, you stated “GM soya (which has passed rigorous safety tests)”.
Please give me full details of these tests so that I may verify that they are in actual fact what they say they are.
The reason I need these is that Monsanto is one of the prime movers behind the RTRS, and this company has a devastating record of never having proven anything satisfactorily.
Thank you for your cooperation.”

Incidentally, you might like to see what ISIS says about RTRS – this you can do at –
Round Table on Responsible Soy a Green Wash
http://www.i-sis.org.uk/roundTableOnResponsibleSoy.php

So, what to do now?

If you are a Morrisons customer, I would strongly recommend that you protect yourself.
a) Demand from the store management that products fed on GM foods be clearly labelled.
b) Demand that the data from the test results that are purported to have led to certification as “Safe” be made available for the public to read in the store.
c) Demand that an alternative product fed on GM-free soya be carried in parallel, and not only the organic variety.

If you get no satisfaction from the store management on any of these points, vote with your feet, and tell the management that you will do so!

If you are not a Morrisons customer, but feel like getting involved and striking a blow for sanity, go to your nearest Morrisons and do the same as I recommended above. For your convenience, I have posted a complete list of Morrisons sites on a separate page. (See Side Panel).

We cannot permit Morrisons to support Monsanto, in any way, shape or form. It would be the thin end of the wedge, and you know it!

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