Aussies say NO to GM wheat

GMO Wheat logo

The Australian domestic market is very negative towards the use of GM wheat. 21.8% of Australian wheat (by volume) was used in Australia in 2010-1011.

A July 2012 polling conducted by Newspoll also reveals that 66% of Australian mothers would prefer to buy food free of GM wheat. In contrast, only 3% of Australian mothers would prefer to buy food that contains GM wheat, while another 29% have no preference either way and 3% don’t know.

According to the GrainGrowers’ report, “the domestic flour and feed millers did not consider that GM wheat would be accepted for Australian food production in the foreseeable future. It was considered that this was driven by consumer preference.”

We have send survey questionnares to major pasta, noodle, flour and biscuit companies in Australia regarding their attitudes toward GM wheat. Summarised below are extracts of the rejection letters and official company policy excluding all GM ingredients in Australia. You can find the full letters in our full report called “No Appetite for Australian GM wheat”.

ALDI

“ALDI does not stock any products which are labelled as containing GM ingredients.”   Aldi’s public commitment

Bakers Delight

“Bakers Delight does not use genetically modified ingredients in line with Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). In line with this policy we do not intend on sourcing GM wheat in the future.” Bakers Delight, 18 July 2012

Brasserie Bread

“If GM wheat was available on the market in the near future, we would not buy GM wheat … We demand the labeling of products with GM.”   Brasserie Bread, 2 August 2012

Campbell Arnott’s

“The policy sets out our position on the GM status of the ingredients – including wheat – that we use in our products for sale in Australia and New Zealand …Our policy is to use non-GE (genetically engineered) ingredients. We audit existing and new ingredients suppliers on an ongoing basis and we’ve also added a provision in their contracts stipulating our requirement for non-GE ingredients.”   Campbell Arnott’s, 25 September 201

Coles

“Coles Brand products do not use genetically modified ingredients.”   Coles’ public commitment

General Mills

“Because of the complexity it would add to our global supply chain, we have opposed the introduction of genetically-modified wheat.” General Mills, 12 October 2012

Laucke Flour Mills

“Laucke Flour Mills has a policy of active avoidance of the use or inclusion of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) or such genetically modified ingredients. Laucke requires insurance (sic) of all suppliers that their products are GMO free, and we have further sought prior notice from suppliers regarding any change in the GMO status of any material intended for supply to us.”   Laucke Flour Mills, 17 July 2012

Menora Foods

“Menora Foods will avoid the use of GM wheat in its products unless there are no viable alternatives.” Menora Foods, 11 July 2012

Metcash/IGA

“Metcash/IGA are pleased to advise that there is a requirement in our supplier agreement that no GM ingredients (including wheat), food additives, processing aids or enzymes be used in our corporate branded products, which include IGA Signature and Black & Gold brand.”   Metcash/IGA, 13 August 2012

Sanitarium

“We are committed to providing foods that are not manufactured from GM ingredients. We thereby ensure that none of our ingredients require GM labelling in accordance with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code 1.5.2(4). Where the confidence of consumers require explicit assurance of non-GM status, we go beyond the food labelling content requirements by utilising a segregated “non-GM” supply chain, supported by comprehensive handling, testing & auditing protocols, to ensure that we meet consumer needs.”   Sanitarium, 28 October 2010

San Remo

“San Remo’s pasta is completely free of Genetically Modified ingredients. San Remo Durum wheat is grown in Australia’s ideal conditions, helped by the sun, rain and good soil. So if natural foods are important to you, San Remo dry pasta should be your first choice”   San Remo’s public commitment

Woolworths

“Woolworths own brand products do not use genetically modified (GM) ingredients.”   Woolworths’ public commitment

11 Comments

  • Richard Smith April 25, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    I wish to congratulate the companies who have banned GM ingredients from their products. For thousands of years we have not needed to interfere with naturally grown products, and as a species we have survived extremely well , too well in fact. We do not need GM products to save the human race. GM products will not save more people from starving, they can’t afford these products anyway. All it is aimed at is swelling the bank balances of the multinational corporations who peddle this garbage. GM interference in nature is totally unnecessary. Please listen to the large majority of Australians who oppose the introduction of GM products.

    Reply

  • Rob Plenderleith June 13, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    Good to see such companies having the sense to avoid non GMO’s in their product (ie Our food)
    The fact that many governments don’t want GMO labelling tells you that there is something sinister with it all and profits for big companies takes precedence over public health!

    Reply

  • Johanna July 1, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Coles and Woolworths’ Home Brand products may not contain GMOs but they certainly sell a lot of GMOs in their Fruit and Veg departments. Oranges Lemons Grapes Apples..you name it..all from the USA. I stopped buying corn years ago and now whenever possible only by Organic packaged products.

    Reply

  • Kerry Addison July 16, 2014 at 8:22 am

    I believe that all foods/substances that are GM are not recognised as a nutrient by the body’s DNA and instead of expelling such nutrients because they are similar to what DNA does recognise, body stores the “slighted modified” substance in the cells – one might connect the dots in relation to obesity and this dangerous practise!

    Reply

  • Stephen November 10, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Scientists at New York University recently publshed their analysis that “GMOs represent a public risk of global harm”

    “Bottom-up modifications1 do not remove the crops from their long term evolutionary context, enabling the push and pull of the ecosystem to locally extinguish harmful mutations. Top-down modifications that bypass this evolutionary pathway unintentionally manipulate large sets of interdependent factors at the same time, with dramatic risks of unintended consequences. They thus result in fat-tailed distributions and place a huge risk on the food system as a whole.”

    and

    “For the impact of GMOs on health, the evaluation of whether the genetic engineering of a particular chemical (protein) into a plant is OK by the FDA is based upon considering limited existing knowledge of risks associated with that protein. The number of ways such an evaluation can be in error is large.”

    The full article is at http://arxiv.org/abs/1410.5787

    Also some commentary on this article (and a recent study by Duke University) is at http://bccan.org.au/news/gmos-represent-a-public-risk-of-global-harm

    Reply

  • Darren November 24, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    ALDI says they don’t sell any product with GMO on the label. That still means they sell a lot of undeclared GMO foods, right?

    Reply

    • SFF January 10, 2015 at 10:04 pm

      Hi Darren,

      It is difficult to comment as a blanket rule as we are not familiar with the specifics of Aldi products and at any large supermarket store individual products will vary in terms of likelihood to contain GM ingredients. It is true that labelling laws in Australia do not require food producers to disclose certain GM ingredients such as highly refined sugars and oils. In light of that, yes a company could potentially claim they do not stock products that say GMO on the label, while many products could potentially contain GM derived ingredients like vegetable oils and sugars that will not be identified on the label. If three are particular products you frequently purchase then it would be best to enquire about a particular individual product. Be careful of cleverly worded double speak in company responses to such enquiries. In my experience many companies will respond that their food are of the highest quality and meet all labelling laws. As you have pointed out, a product may meet all labelling laws and still contain GM ingredients. The best guarantee in Australia is to purchase certified organic products which are currently required to be 100% GM free to obtain certification. Alternately some concerned manufacturers who proactively avoid the inclusion of GM ingredients in their products are starting to label their ingredients specifically GM Free. This is also something to look for in shops to help you make GM free choices.

      Cheers
      Suzy

      Reply

  • freelyn April 14, 2015 at 5:38 am

    In the majority of cases it’s not just that GM foods are Genetically Modified, it’s why they’ve been Genetically Modified. In most cases recently, it’s been done so that they can spray Round Up(Glyphyosate) on them. Glyphyosate is a known carcinogen and seems to be more than causally linked to intestinal problems when contaminated products are consumed.

    However, that said – not eating GM foods would prevent you from eating chemicals that while the crop is resistant to them are often still present in the harvest. In fact the US has had to increase the acceptable limits of Round Up in food crops since farmers are spraying more and more of it as weeds become immune to it.

    We need to step up and demand that our respective government agencies protect us from “Big Farma” and their profits above safety mantra.

    Reply

  • Jasmine Fricker August 31, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    In my travels I have discovered that Australia is known through the world as one of the purest countries where food is grown . If fact there are Supermarkets overseas that stock and sell only Australian products because of that reason. So who in their right minds would one want to pollute our country with GMO grown products.When world researches have proven that GMO products can be harmful to women’s reproductive organs and contribute to many other health issue’s. I wonder if all this GMO issue isn’t weather it is healthy or not for Australia by those in charge, but who’s pockets are being lined and who has the power in our country.

    Reply

  • luke brown February 9, 2016 at 9:48 pm

    I do not want GMO labelling ..i simply DO NOT WANT ANY GMO”S IN MY FOOD PERIOD !!!

    Reply

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