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Whatever happened to ‘bans’ on GM produce in British supermarkets? – Conversation (2015)

In the late 1990s, Sainsbury’s and Safeway… both offered GM tomato purée… GM and non-GM cans of purée stood side by side on their shelves, the former some 18% cheaper… The cans were conspicuously labelled and pamphlets explaining what GM was all about were to hand nearby. But when the stock ran out and it was time to re-order, the anti-GM food balloon had gone up and the product was discontinued… 

In 1999 Marks & Spencer announced that it was removing all GM foods from its shelves. (In a House of Lords inquiry at that time, M&S said their customers demanded it. When asked by their lordships how many customers that meant, it turned out to have been rather a small percentage. But those who positively wanted GM were, it seems, even fewer in number)… 

All the other retailers followed suit: the UK’s retail industry was to be GM-free – or was it? In fact some GM products… were always to be found… Then there is the question of GM fodder for animals…. retailers said that they would not sell any products from pigs or poultry that had been exposed to GM feeds…

Until, that is, when Asda became the first of the leading UK supermarkets to abandon its commitment to eggs and poultry fed with GM in 2010… But by then public opinion on the issue had become almost completely mute… GM-feed for pigs and poultry was no longer to be excluded… there appears to have been no noticeable consumer rejection of products from animals fed GM…

More than half the world’s cotton is GM, so this is likely to be the case with products on sale in the UK. There is no obligation to label GM cotton so one cannot be sure, but nobody seems to ask and few seem to care… 

Public interest in this subject has largely waned… Though one can never be quite sure, it does begin to look as though the GM issue will fade away in the fullness of time, in England at least, even if it takes a while. I suspect GM food and crops will become commonplace and the protesting community will veer off in another direction, chasing new demons.

 

https://theconversation.com/whatever-happened-to-bans-on-gm-produce-in-british-supermarkets-51153

 

Sourced through Scoop.it from: theconversation.com

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