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M&S director plugs genetic food

18 December 1998
M&S director plugs genetic food

ONE of Britains leading retailers today has described genetically modified food as “the biggest breakthrough in human history” …more…



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M&S director plugs genetic food

18 December 1998
M&S director plugs genetic food

By Mike Stones

ONE of Britains leading retailers today has described genetically modified food as “the biggest breakthrough in human history”.

Martin van Zwanenburg, divisional director of Marks and Spencers food technology group, said genetically modified (GM) crops promised big benefits to farmers and consumers.

“GM science wont stop – in fact it will increase in pace,” he told delegates at the Food and Farm Matters Conference at the Royal Agricultural College in Cirencester.

Mr van Zwanenburg said clearer labelling and controlled developments would be essential to win consumer confidence in GM products.

“Its no use having half-baked labelling schemes,” he said.

“One percent contamination of products labelled as GM free is not acceptable. Either its GM or its not and the consumer needs to know which.”

But the practicalities of such labelling were questioned by Lord Christopher Haskins, chairman of Northern Foods.

Retailers would not be able to guarantee that food was GM-free, he said.

Marks and Spencer buys 125,000 British lambs, 250,000 British steers and 85,000 tons of British potatoes each year.

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