COMMENT by TraceConsult: Perhaps it would have been more appropriate for the German food and retail industry themselves to commission this survey conducted only little over a week ago by one of the most reputable polling agencies of the country. Instead, it was up to the German section of Friends of the Earth to conceive (and pay for) the project.
The fascinating details of the survey reported below point out unmistakably that of the 73 percent of all German consumers who have stated that they do want retailers and food manufacturers to use the new German "GM-free" (/Ohne Gentechnik/) claims legislation are spread out all over the political spectrum. While it doesn't come as a surprise that backers of the Green Party are in favor of such labeled claims, supporters of the two Berlin government coalition partners, the Social Democrats and even the conservative Christian Democrats, root for the "GM-free" claim just as much. Only sympathizers of the Liberals, notorious biotech backers for some time, express their opinions in lesser numbers.
With so many, completely unrelated, issues irritating consumers and voters these days all over the world, it seems about time to start listening to them in areas where solutions can be implemented with relative ease and at moderate cost. The supply and the logistics of raw materials enabling industry operators to generate animal products that qualify for a GM-free claim in Germany and elsewhere in the EU have been available for years. All it takes is that decision makers in the supply and distribution chains take heart and go for it together. The more participants gather behind the measure, the easier and less costly it will be.
*Biotech Survey by Forsa: Majority of Germans want labeling "/Ohne
Gentechnik/" (GM-free) on food products*
Berlin (ots) More than three fourths of all Germans wish that retail chains and the food industry apply the label "/Ohne Gentechnik/". Less than one fifth of those polled do not consider this to make any sense. Even four fifth of all female customers expect a positive labeling of animal products such as milk, eggs and meat, as long as no genetically modified feedstuffs are used. Backers of the Greens, the [social
democrat] SPD and the [conservative] CDU/CSU are the strongest in favor
of the labeling. This is slightly less the case among customers leaning more towards the [liberal] FDP or the Left party.
When shopping, 73 percent of the consumers would use the "/Ohne
Gentechnik/" label for orientation and rather buy products carrying this
indication. One fourth of German citizens would rather not be influenced
by such a label in their buying decisions.
These are the results of a representative survey among 1,002 Germans the Bund für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland (BUND) [the German section of Friends of the Earth] commissioned the Forsa polling institute with last week. The triggering reason for this is a one-year old regulation
that went into effect on 1st May 2008, defining how companies may voluntarily designate their animal products with an "/Ohne Gentechnik/" label.
"Regrettably, there are up until now too few food producers who use the '/Ohne Gentechnik/' label and engage in aggressive marketing", says BUND
chairman Hubert Weigner. "Among others, the pioneers so far are FrieslandCampina, Neuland, the retail chain tegut and the Upländer Bauernmolkerei dairy producer. In particular, major retailers such as
Edeka, Lidl, Rewe and Tengelmann must follow these examples. It is
incomprehensible why the food industry is ignoring the preference of its
customers by not advertising more strongly using the '/Ohne Gentechnik/'
Unfortunately, EU law does not require food manufacturers to label animal products, whose production involves genetically modified crops, accordingly. The more important then is the possibility of a voluntary labeling using the "/Ohne Gentechnik/" claim. It guarantees safety and freedom of choice to all customers preferring a food production without genetic engineering.
Weiger continues, "The results of our poll send a clear signal to the food industry, to retail chains and to the Federal Government: Germans want food that does not involve biotechnology in its production process. In order to enable them to express their choice for GM-free food also in the area of animal products, Agricultural Minister Ilse Aigner must launch her information campaign about an '/Ohne Gentechnik/' seal that she has announced for such a long time."
Action project [launched by BUND]: So far, Germany's largest food producer does not want to use the "Ohne Gentechnik" labelfrom Edeka on the Internet at
/All results of ther BUND/Forsa survey available [in German] at
*/Trace/**Consult will consider providing an English translation if a
sufficient number of readers will let us know by clicking here