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How to Avoid Genetically Engineered Food: a Greenpeace Shopper's Guide

How to Avoid Genetically Engineered Food: a Greenpeace Shopper's Guide

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Published by Leslie Bishop Paul
"Greenpeace is offering you this guide because
we believe that, as consumers and citizens,
you have the Right to Know what you are
eating"
"Greenpeace is offering you this guide because
we believe that, as consumers and citizens,
you have the Right to Know what you are
eating"

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Published by: Leslie Bishop Paul on Apr 06, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/05/2012

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Genetically
Engineered Food
How to Avoid
AGreenpeace Shoppers Guide
 
3
Genetically engineeredor genetically modifiedorganisms (
GMO
s) arecreated by taking genesfrom organisms suchas bacteria,viruses oranimals and insertingthem into other,oftenunrelated,species.Unliketraditional breeding,genetic engineeringcreates new organismsthatwould never occurin nature,creating newandunpredictable healthand environmental risks.The term ‘geneticallyengineered (
GE
)food’refers to any productcontaining or derivedfrom
GMO
s.In Canada,up to 70 per centof theprocessed foods foundin grocery stores contain
GE
ingredients.The mostcommon
GE
ingredients comefrom crops like corn,soy,canola and cotton.Biotechnology compa-nies likeMonsantogenetically engineerthese crops to produceapesticide or to with-stand the applicationofherbicides.
Whatis GEFood?
to Know
Greenpeace is offering you this guide becausewe believe that,as consumers and citizens,you have the
Right to Know
what you areeating.A Decima poll commissioned by theConsumers Association of Canada (October2003) revealed that 88 per cent of Canadiansbelieve that labels for
GE
foods should be mademandatory by the Canadian government–Greenpeace couldn’tagree more.If you livedin Europe,Australia,New Zealand,China orJapan,you would have that right.Mandatorylabelling of 
GE
food is the law in more than40 countries worldwide,covering approxi-mately 3 billion people.Whilemost of the world has opted formandatory standards,the federal govern-ment,with the support of the food industry,has opted for voluntary measures that areunlikelytolead to labels on
GE
food.Morethan six months after the introduction of avoluntary standard,a Greenpeace inves-tigation could not locate a single
GE
labelon any product in Canadian grocery stores.No environmental or consumer groupsupported the final standard adopted bythe government.Meanwhile,in Quebec,an all party committee of the legislaturehas recommended that Quebec institutemandatory labelling for
GE
foods.In 2001,your Members of Parliamentvoted down a law that would have requiredmandatory labelling.The time has comefor you to know what you are eating.Makesure your
MP
knows you want mandatorylabelling of 
GE
foods.
Your Right
T
he planting of 
GE
crops on millions of hectares of land and their intro-duction into our food supply is a giantgenetic experiment.As living,reproducing organisms,
GMO
sform a type of living pollution thatcan spreadacross vastareas creating environmental risks thatare unprecedented andpossibly irreversible.Some of the dangers include the loss of biodiversity;the developmentof superweeds and superpests leading to increased useof toxic pesticides;contamination of organic and conventional crops;andharm to beneficial organisms.Health risks associated with
GE
food includethe developmentof antibiotic resistance,allergic reactions,nutritionalchanges and the creation of toxins.The Canadian regulatory system forfood biotechnology is extremelyweak,and has been criticizedas inadequate by many expertsincluding the Royal Societyof Canada,the Ontario PublicHealth Association and theQuebec Institute of PublicHealth.As the governmentrequires NOlong term testing of 
GE
foods,it’s impossible to determinewhateffects they are having.
For these reasons,Greenpeacedemandsthe end of environmentalrelease of 
GMO
sandtheir use in our food.For more information,please visitthe GeneticEngineering sectionofour website at:
www.greenpeace.ca
The Health andEnvironmental Risks of GMOs
The use of genetically engineeredorganisms is prohibited under organicfood standards.Organic foods aregrown without the use of syntheticchemicals or irradiation.Organicstandards require that attentive carebe given– care that promotes healthand meets the behavioural needs of livestock.
GE
animal feed is also pro-hibited.The best way to avoid
GE
foodis to purchase 100 per cent certifiedorganic products,whole foods andfresh produce.There are a numberof thirdparty certifiers in Canadawho certify products as organic.
WhataboutOrganic Food?
2
 
54
The GreenpeaceShoppers Guide
T
he Greenpeace ShoppersGuide lists some of thecommon foods found inCanada’s grocery stores thatare made with ingredientsfrom genetically engineeredcrops.The guide is notintended to be comprehen-sive butto offer a startingpointfor shoppers who areconcerned about
GE
food.As a general rule,checkingredientlists for prod-ucts made with corn,soy,cotton or canola.These fourcrops accountfor nearly100 per centof the
GE
cropsgrown in North America.We’ve made every effortinthis guide to listonly foods thatcurrently have a genetically engineeredcounterparton the market.Those thatdon’t–such as mostfresh fruitand vegetables,olive oils,whole wheator rice products,and manyothers–have notbeen listed.The information in this guide comes primarily from directcommuni-cations between Greenpeace and food producers.Some are reactingtowhattheir customers wantby providing non-
GE
food,while othershaverefused to do so.We hope thatthe Shoppers Guide will help younavigate the unlabelled aisles of your local supermarket.If you haveinformation aboutproducts included or notyetlisted in the guide,please contactus atmembers@yto.greenpeace.org or telephone1-800-320-7183.
Baby Food
...................................
7Baking Supplies
...........................
7Beverages
...................................
8Candy and Chocolate
...................
9Canned and Jarred Foods
............
10Cereals and BreakfastFoods
........
11Condiments
...............................
12Cookies and Desserts
..................
13Dried Meals and Sauce Mixes
......
15Frozen Foods
.............................
15Pasta and Dry Foods
...................
16Salad Dressings and Oils
.............
17Snack Foods
..............................
18Soups
.......................................
19Tomatoes and Pasta Sauces
........
20Vegetarian/Dairy andMeatAlternatives
......................
21
Table of Contents
Food companies continue to usegenetically modified organisms (
GMO
s)in our food,ignoring the wishes of themajority of Canadians.One company inparticular stands out.Loblaw CompaniesLtd.is the largestgrocery retailer in Canada and owns both thePresident’s Choice and No Name brands.With more than 1 100 storesin Canada operating under the names Loblaws,Zehrs,Real CanadianSuperstore,Provigo,Maxi,SuperValu,Extra Foods,Shop Easy,LuckyDollar,Independent,Cash & Carry,Dominion in Newfoundland,Valu-mart,Fortinos,No Frills,Atlantic Superstore and Atlantic SaveEasy,whatLoblaws decides determines whatyou are eating.
Greenpeaceis calling on Loblaws to:
Committo the removal of genetically engineered (
GE
)ingredients fromPresident’s Choice,No Name and other Loblaws brand name products.
Asan interim measure,immediately begin labelling products whichcontain
GE
ingredients and stop preventing suppliers from labellingproducts “Non-
GE
.”
Instructsuppliers thatLoblaws will begin a phase-outof all productsin their stores thatcontain
GE
ingredients.Retailers around the world have stopped experimenting on theircustomers and have refused to sell
GE
foods.Sainsbury’s in England,Carrefour in France and Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods in North Americahave all committed to the removal of 
GE
foods in their name brandproducts.
If you think Loblaws and President’s Choice should give youthe same courtesy,contactChairman Galen Weston at:
22 St.Clair AveE,Toronto,ON,M4T 2S7
T:
416.922.2500
F:
416.922.4395
E:
customer_service@weston.caPC Organics are a step in the rightdirection–let’s help them go allthe way and make President’s Choice the People’s Choice!
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