World’s Largest Dairy Exporter Under Scrutiny For GMO Contamination
Trouble down under has led to a major controversy concerning the contamination of the food supply with genetically-modified organisms (GMO). Fonterra, a New Zealand-based cooperative that represents the world’s largest exporter of dairy products, has been pinned by Greenpeace Australia for allegedly selling dairy products contaminated with GMOs, despite the fact that the company is not a GMO brand.
Unlike in the US, many other countries around the world require proper labeling of GMOs. With the exception of New Zealand itself, many of the places to which Fonterra distributes its dairy products have GMO labeling requirements, including nearby Australia. And Greenpeace is questioning whether or not Fonterra still belongs in its “True Food Guide,” a guide that rates food brands according to GMO content to help consumers avoid them.
According to a recent report in the New Zealand Herald, Fonterra refused to answer certain questions asked by Greenpeace in its latest survey, upon which the nonprofit decided to re-categorize Fonterra with a “red flag,” indicating the potential presence of GMO ingredients in its products. One question involved the source of Fonterra’s animal feed, and whether or not the feed is routinely tested for GMOs.
Fonterra group director of technology Jeremy Hill told reporters that the company “strive[s] to minimize unintentional traces of GE (genetically engineered) content,” but that they cannot be fully eliminated from the company’s products.
Other companies on the Greenpeace red flag list this year include Unilever and Sara Lee, both of which use GMO ingredients in products made for US markets. Even Weight Watchers essentially admitted that it uses, or at least allows a small presence of, GMO ingredients in its products made for the Australian and New Zealand markets.
To learn more about the True Food Network or to view the 2011 Australian True Food Guide, visit:
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