ADVICE ON . . . LABELLING OF GENETICALLY
MODIFIED FOODS AND INGREDIENTSWHAT IT MEANS TO YOU
Over the past few years, farmers in the major
growing areas around the world have started to plant genetically
modified (GM) commodity crops such as soya and maize for improved
weed control and increased yield. In 1997, the first significant
volumes of these crops were grown and harvested for processing
into food ingredients such as soya and maize flours and oils,
soya lecithin and maize syrup. For this reason, and in accordance
with new legislation, we have started to label Safeway brand foods
which contain ingredients processed from genetically modified
soya and maize.
This leaflet explains:
The reason for labelling genetically modified
What the new labelling will look like.
What kinds of products will be labelled.
When the new labels will start to appear on Safeway
Whether foods carrying GM Labelling should be
Where to get more information.
Safeway is committed to customer choice and
clear, informative labelling. In common with other retailers,
we have pressed for and continue to encourage the industry to
segregate genetically modified and conventional crops. In parallel,
we are labelling foods which contain ingredients from genetically
modified crops to help our customers make informed purchasing
The majority of packaged foods display a list
of ingredients used in their manufacture on the pack. Where GM-derived
ingredients which contain new DNA or protein are used in Safeway
brand foods, they will be identified by an asterisk. A typical
example of the new labelling format is shown below:
Product example: "Safeway 2 Chicken Kievs"
Chicken, breadcrumbs, Butter Hydrogenated Vegetable
Oil, Water, Wheat Flour, Lemon Juice, Salt, Soya Protein Isolate
Skimmed Milk Powder, Egg Albumen, Lemon Oil, Sodium Caseinate,
White Pepper, Vegetable Oil, Garlic Extract
Soya-based ingredients such as soya protein
isolate are used in a variety of products from the Chicken Kiev
example shown here, to sausage rolls. Such products will be labelled
as outlined in this leaflet where the soya-based ingredient they
contain is derived from genetically modified soya beans.
In January 1998 Safeway started to label products
in accordance with voluntary guidelines and in advance of new
legislation. Now that the legislation has been agreed, Safeway
is working to ensure all appropriate products are labelled as
soon as possible.
SHOULD I AVOID
By law all food offered for sale must be safe
to eat. Genetically modified soya and maize have been approved
by the appropriate regulatory authorities in both the UK and Europe.
On this basis there is no reason for customers to avoid eating
them or ingredients processed from them.
I GET MORE
We recognise that some customers may wish further
information on genetic modification or ingredients processed from
genetically modified crops. Further information on Safeway brand
products can be obtained from Safeway Customer Services at the
address below. Information on other brands can be obtained either
directly from the manufacturer, or from the Food and Drink Federation.
More general information on genetically modified foods can be
obtained from the Institute of Grocery Distribution or MAFF at
the addresses below.
Safeway Customer Services
Safeway Stores plc
Kent ME20 7AT
Tel: 01622 712987
Food and Drink Federation
6 Catherine Street
London WC2B 5JJ
Institute of Grocery Distribution
Watford WD2 8DQ
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
London SW1A 2HH
Tel: 0645 335577
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