13 January 2000
‘GM spuds found in GM-free shipments’

By Vicky Houchin

ONE of North Americas biggest potato processors, McCain Foods, discovered genetically modified potatoes had been delivered to its New Brunswick plant – despite growers assurances to the contrary, according to Frasers Potato Newsletter of Canada.

McCain Foods of Canada informed its suppliers last month that it would not use GM crops, following growing opposition from North American consumers.

A spokesman from McCain confirmed that GM potatoes had been found in one of its factories, but would not say whether the deliveries were professed non-GM by growers.

The statement was issued following rumours that GM seed has been sold as non-GM following a slump in sales for GM products.

However, for the coming season, growers will be forced to supply non-GM potatoes from seed stock that is certified GM-free.

Monsanto denies that GM seed could be sold as conventional seed, because all growers have to sign a contract with the company.

But a spokesman for the company acknowledged that Monsanto has no control after the seed is sold.

GM potato products are banned from supermarket shelves in the UK under EU rules.