GM feed warning from anti-GM campaign group

By Rod Addy

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Gm crops Genetically modified organism

Campaigners claim GM crops are treated with pesticide that harms wildlife
Campaigners claim GM crops are treated with pesticide that harms wildlife
GeneWatch UK has called on supermarkets to wake up to the environmental harm caused by genetically modified (GM) animal feed, imported from North and South America.

Blanket spraying of Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready GM crops with the weedkiller RoundUp had destroyed large parts of the habitat of the monarch butterfly in the US, it warned.

As a result, it said, a petition was filed on August 26 seeking endangered species protection for the butterfly, which had declined more than 90% in under 20 years.

Supermarkets should act now to secure GM-free-fed meat, milk and eggs for all their customers,​” said Dr Helen Wallace, Director of GeneWatch UK. “They must help to save the monarch butterfly and protect other wildlife habitats from being destroyed by blanket spraying with RoundUp​”.

No choice

RoundUp Ready GM crops are imported to the UK in large quantities for use in animal feed. Meat, milk and eggs from animals fed with GM crops were not labelled so consumers had no choice, unless they bought organic food, GeneWatch said.

Major supermarkets, except Waitrose, had backtracked from commitments to phase out the use of GM animal feed in the past few years, the organisation claimed.

Sainsbury maintained only one GM-free fed product line, while other supermarkets, such as Tesco and Morrisons, claim they cannot source GM-free feed, it added.

However, it highlighted that in some European countries, such as Sweden, GM feed was not used at all and that in Germany and France many labelled GM-free-fed products were available.

Legal petition

The Center for Biological Diversity and Center for Food Safety, the Xerces Society and renowned monarch scientist Dr Lincoln Brower filed a legal petition yesterday to the US Fish and Wildlife Service seeking Endangered Species Act protection for monarch butterflies.

In less than 20 years it is estimated that the butterflies had lost more than 165M acres of habitat — an area about the size of Texas — including nearly a third of their summer breeding grounds.

The butterfly’s dramatic decline was being driven by the widespread planting of GM crops in the US Midwest, where most monarchs were born, GeneWatch claimed.

The vast majority of GM crops are made to be resistant to Monsanto’s weedkiller Roundup which was blanket sprayed on Monsanto’s RoundUp Ready GM crops, it said. This had virtually wiped out milkweed, the monarch caterpillar’s only food, it claimed.

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But we still by Roundup Weedkiller for our Gardens

Posted by Phil Roberts,

If we want to really make a difference we need to campaign in Europe to ban Roundup Weedkiller which is sold in Garden Centres around the continent and even recently in my local Tesco.

Why do we always GeneWatch and Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth always target supermarkets and food companies and never the root cause (sic) of the problem which is Monsanto and their Roundup Weedkiller?

I constantly amazed at the reaction when I tell people in the horticultural industry that Roundup Weedkiller is behind all the GM crops. The linkage is never there thanks to the likes of GeneWatch not making the publicity.

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10 years too late

Posted by Phil Roberts,

We missed the chance 10 years ago when the new European legislation on GM was introduced.

While the food industry has jumped through hoops over the last 10 years to source food which did not start out from a GM crop, let alone have any trace of GM left in it, the farming community have been able to feed animals with GM grown feed without any significant opposition.

We really are trying to shut the stable door after the horse has escaped.

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