News | April 30, 1999

Nestle UK Follows Suit to Ban GM Ingredients

Nestle UK, best known for confectionery and breakfast cereals, has announced that it will ban genetically-modified ingredients in response to public concern.The announcement follows a similar ban by Tesco and the Unilever companies Van den Bergh Foods and Birds Eye Wall's.

The decision by Nestle UK represents a u-turn. Earlier the company had refused to withdraw GM ingredients or offer full labeling. In its statement, the company said: "We have already removed from the majority of our products those ingredients which may have contained modified genetic material and will continue this process. We will endeavor to purchase ingredients from non-GM sources or find substitutes where non-GM sourcing cannot be guaranteed." At the same time, Shippam's announced booming sales since it relaunched its range of pastes and spreads earlier this year using non-GM ingredients.

Campaigners and consumer groups welcomed the latest moves and condemned the government's refusal to support a GM ban. Greenpeace spokesman Jim Thomas said: "This is very important. Now two of the world's biggest food firms are getting out of GM food."