Public unaware of GM feedstuff according to FoE survey

A survey by Friends of the Earth has confirmed what nearly every farmer suspected: The majority of consumers is unaware that most animal products sold in supermarkets, including milk, cheese and meat, are derived from animals fed on GM feeds.

According to the FoE survey, five out of 10 supermarkets fail to tell customers when food comes from animals fed on GM feed.

The poll carried out by GfK NOP Omnibus for Friends of the Earth and GM Freeze found that 87% of the public think that foods from animals fed on a GM diet should be labelled.

Animal products produced using GM feed are currently exempt from labelling requirements.

FoE surveyed the 10 main supermarkets’ policies on GM animal feed.

The results showed that supermarkets providing the fewest non-GM fed options were Budgens, which only sources non-GM fed poultry and pork, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Iceland and Somerfield, which only source non-GM eggs, poultry and farmed fish.

A Food Standards Agency spokesman said: “There is no requirement under EU law to label meat or dairy products that have been raised on GM animal feed. This is not a safety concern as GM feed needs to undergo a safety assessment in the EU before it can be authorised for use.”