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Genetically Engineered Food Alert Launched in U.S.
July 20, 2000
U.S. Consumers call on Campbell Soup Company and Kelloggs to remove genetically engineered ingredients from their products
A coalition of seven national consumer and environmental groups have announced the formation of a major new U.S. campaign to keep genetically engineered ingredients off U.S. grocery store shelves, unless they are thoroughly safety tested and labeled. As the first formal action of its campaign, Genetically Engineered Food Alert (GEFoodAlert) called on the Campbell Soup Company to remove genetically engineered ingredients from its products, unless they are thoroughly tested and labeled. The campaign also announced plans to add to efforts already in progress seeking removal of genetically engineered ingredients from Kellogg's products.
The campaign was launched in 21 cities across the U.S., with GEFoodAlert members and local activists demonstrating outside of supermarkets and informing shoppers of the campaigns against Campbell's and Kellogg's. GEFoodAlert invited shoppers to join the campaign by visiting its web site (http://www.gefoodalert.org), and asked them to register their concerns with Campbell's and Kellogg's directly by calling and by sending letters to the companies urging them to remove genetically engineered ingredients from their products.
For over 130 years, Campbell's has built its name on "good, wholesome, high-quality food." Because of consumer concern, Campbell's, like Kellogg's, has ceased using genetically engineered soy and corn in its products in Europe. However, in a letter dated, June 9, 2000, Campbell's U.S. headquarters confirmed that they do use genetically engineered corn and soy.
"As an American family icon associated with trust and wholesomeness, Campbell's has a responsibility to the American public," said Andrew Kimbrell, of the Center for Food Safety. "As it has already done in Europe, Campbell's should take genetically engineered ingredients out of its food here so that consumers can be assured that the food they are eating is safe."
In the U.S., the majority of people support labeling. A poll conducted last year for Time Magazine and CNN showed that 81% want "genetically engineered foods labeled as such." GEFoodAlert organizers believe that consumers should have a right to know that they are eating genetically engineered foods.
About Genetically Engineered Food Alert
GEFoodAlert calls on major food corporations to remove all genetically engineered ingredients from their products and calls on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to remove genetically engineered food and crops from the market, unless they have been properly safety tested, they are labeled to ensure the consumer's right-to-know, and the biotechnology corporations that manufacture them are held responsible for any harm.
The campaign began on July 19 with the endorsement of more than 250 organizations and individuals, including consumer, environmental and public health groups, as well as chefs, religious leaders, doctors, and scientists. Planned activities include a series of reports highlighting the problems with genetically engineered foods, channeling consumer comments to government and corporate officials, demonstrations and other educational events, and grassroots organizing.
The organizations that created GEFoodAlert are Center for Food Safety, Friends of the Earth, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, National Environmental Trust, Organic Consumers Association, Pesticide Action Network North America, and the State Public Interest Research Groups.
Campaign Web site
The campaign launched a Web site: http://www.gefoodalert.org. The site provides sample letters so that consumers can send comments to Campbell's and Kellogg's and to FDA, fact sheets on health and environmental concerns about genetically engineered foods, campaign updates, press materials and information about the campaign.
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