17 March 1999
Sainsbury¥s pledges GM-ree food
SUPERMARKET giant Sainsburys has pledged to remove all genetically modified (GM) ingredients from its own-brand products by the summer.
Alison Austin, Sainsburys environmental manager, said the chain wanted to establish verified non-GM sources in the farmers field.
The chain has formed an international consortium food retailers aimed at sourcing GM-free ingredients and guaranteeing GM-free products to its customers.
The consortium includes Marks & Spencer which yesterday announced that it too was banning GM ingredients from its own-brand products.
Other founder members are the hypermarket retailer Carrefour in France, Delhaiz in Belgium, Migros in Switzerland, Effelunga in Italy and Superquinn in Ireland.
Sainsburys will now send its new ingredients to be GM-tested by scientists at the independent British firm, Law Laboratories.
The news will come as another blow for Monsanto, the biotechnology company which last year deliberately mixed its GM soya with conventional soya supplies.
Monsanto was lambasted for the move which critics said made it impossible for anyone to guarantee that soya they were using was GM-free.
Sainsburys is now working on all own-brand products to ensure that ingredients such as soya oil and lecithin are not made from GM derivatives.