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M&S, Co-op and Sainsbury's chickens soon to be all GM soya-fed

M&S, Sainsbury and Co-op have announced that they will soon join other retailers, such as Tesco, Asda and Morrisons, in the decision to feed genetically modified soya to their chickens. The move has been blamed by the supermarket giants on the alleged lack of cheap non-GM feed: they are saying it's too difficult to obtain and too expensive, therefore the only way forward is to switch to GM crops. In addition, they also say that it is getting increasingly hard to separate GM and non-GM feed: to comply with labeling laws it would be just easier to switch to a single feed, the GM one of course.

Nevertheless, the producers in Brazil that usually supply the UK with non-GM feeds have replied that the only reason behind the change of heart is that Britain wants to establish more business relations with US-based GM crop producers such as Monsanto. According to the Brazilians, huge amounts of non-GM animal feed has been produced this year following a record soyabean harvest of 82m tons, and it's as easy as ever to obtain. In regards to the mixing problem, they say the claim is also totally unfounded, as there's never been a problem with separating the two different products.

M&S, Sainsbury and Co-op have been sticking to the non-GM feed policy for over a decade, and judging from the incredible popularity in the rest of Europe of products clearly marked as non-GM, we wonder why Britain is now reversing the trend and moreover, what the consequences will be on our freedom to choose what to eat.

Dr Helen Wallace from anti GM group GeneWatch UK has declared on the matter: "If access to non-GM feed for chickens is allowed to be blocked today, how long before we have no choices left? People have a right to choose what food they want to eat and we must guard against corporate interests, cartels and monopolies taking over global food and feed supplies."

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