UK retailer Morrisons yesterday scrambled to put the company Facebook page into damage limitation mode. Across the UK, consumers registered their protests over a Morrisons’ decision to allow suppliers to feed GM to poultry for all but organic birds. Press officer George Kotschy confirmed to ARC2020 that the multiple retailer’s requirements for non-GM feed had been relaxed last month.
Overnight, Facebook follower Siobhan commented: “It’s interesting how you changed to timeline as soon as all the GM comments started coming through, now its very difficult to see them when we go on to your page…” “Sort it out, Morrisons, reinstate your GM free poultry,” urged follower Clare today. Another online commentator remarked on the multiple’s willingness to talk about cake, “…but [Morrisons] have not entered into dialogue with their customers who are objecting to GM products.”
GMFreeze director Pete Riley told ARC2020 that with GM soya £43/tonne cheaper than non-GM at present, it removes an argument for cost-conscious farmers to refuse the currently cheaper option. “We have not had the opportunity to talk to this multiple about the real threat of GM,” he added. Find the full statement here.
Kotschy reminded ARC2020 that at present there is no legal food labelling requirement to declare GM animal feedstuffs on downstream food products, nor was he aware of scientific evidence that GM soya fed to animals constituted a risk to human health. He added that the multiple is looking into sustainable soya for livestock: “We’re very passionate about it,” he added, before conceding that sustainable could mean GM or non-GM interchangeably.