16 July 1999
Sainsbury brand goes GM-free

By Vicky Houchin

SAINSBURYS claims to be the first major UK supermarket to drop GM ingredients from its own-brand products.

But the supermarket can not yet guarantee its meat and meat products come from non-GM-fed animals.

Dino Adriano, group chief executive for the company said GM had been one of the most important issues to its customers over the past few months and wanted to make a clear statement.

“I has been a mammoth task – Sainsburys has one of the widest ranges of own-brand products in the food retailing industry catering for nine million customers every week,” said Mr Adriano.

He said the major concern has been with GM soya protein, but now claims to have removed this from all own-brand products as well as soya oil.

“We have sourced non-GM soya proteins, oils and lecithins so that all new products being made for Sainsburys are free of GM soya ingredients,” added Mr Adriano.

Given the longer shelf-life of some products, some items may contain soya lecithin as an ingredient, as it was sourced before the companys review and reformation process began.

All Sainsburys suppliers are now required to provide certification ensuring that all soya and related ingredients have been obtained from verified non-GM crops.

However, meat from Sainsburys may still be from animals fed on GM materials.

“GM feed is an industry-wide issue,” said a spokeswoman. “Were working on it, but it will be years rather than months before GM products are eliminated from animal feed,” she added.