1. Sweden heads for GM-free status: UK should follow
2. Action Alert: UK supermarkets can and should end GM animal feed
3. Comment by Akiko Frid about Swedish supermarket City Gross's GM-free feed policy
1. Sweden heads for GM-free status: UK should follow
Major company bans GM-fed pig meat
GM Freeze
Press release
Immediate release 16 May 2011

An announcement from the main Swedish slaughter house operator SCAN that they will no longer accept pigs for slaughter if they have been fed on GM animal feed is another major step in Sweden moving to a completely GM-free food chain. GM Freeze is repeating their call for UK retailers and producers to follow suit. [1]

SCAN announced that from 1 September 2011 they will not accept pigs that have been fed on GM crops (mainly Monsanto's RR soya).[2] Other slaughterhouses are reported to be following the SCAN decision.[3]

The move brings the company into line with Sweden's four major retail companies, all of whom have a long-standing no-GM policy [3], and other producer organisations for poultry/chicken, lamb, beef, veal and milk, who have rules against GM-feed for their animals.[2]

The move has been consumer-led. The Swedish Consumer Coalition has played a leading role in lobbying for the change, brought about despite both the pro-GM stance taken by the Swedish Government when voting at the EU Council of Ministers and criticism of retailer policies from the Swedish National Food Administration.[4]

SCAN's President said[2]:

"We want to see a Swedish meat production in the future. Right now there is a very tough situation on the pork market, which makes it particularly important to work with our suppliers and trade highlight the competitive advantages that can both maintain and strengthen our Swedish meat."

Despite very strong public concern about GM food and crops in Sweden[5], a GM potato (Amflora, used to produce industrial starch) was grown commercially in the country in 2010 on a very small area. Problems arose when an unauthorised GM variety was also planted in error [6]. Sweden's Amflora planting dropped to a mere 15 hectares in 2011.

GM-free labelling on animal products is now common in Germany and Austria.

Time for UK action
In the UK a 2010 opinion survey carried out for GM Freeze and Friends of the Earth found strong consumer support for meat, milk and eggs to be produced without GM animal feed, and 89% of respondents said they want GM-fed animal products, such as milk meat and eggs, to be labelled as such.[7] A significant majority (72%) said they would be willing to pay more for products not fed on GM-feed.

Meat, milk and dairy products fed with GM feed are not labelled in UK supermarkets, but some retailers and suppliers have taken steps to ensure GM-free products are available.[1]

The Conservative Party manifesto pledged to "ensure that consumers have the right to choose non-GM foods through clear labelling"[8], yet Conservative MEPs voted down an opportunity to introduce labelling of GM-fed animal products across the EU in July 2010.[9]

GM soya grown in the US and South America and imported to Europe for animal feed is causing major environmental problems as herbicide-tolerant super weeds spread across farmland. Aerial spraying of GM feed crops with herbicide in South America has led to serious concerns about health impacts on local people.[10] Ӭ
Commenting Pete Riley of GM Freeze said:

"The Swedes are leading to way in establishing a GM-free food chain despite their government's pro-GM position. This shows that these changes are entirely possible in the UK, despite protestations from the feed industry.

"The company's reasons for making the switch to non-GM feed also prove that this is the future and that it makes good business sense to get in on the act early. The UK retail poultry and livestock industry are lagging behind on this and ignoring the potential to give customers what they want. They should take a trip to Sweden, Germany or Austria to find out how it is done and then completely remove GM feed from the supply chain.

"UK supermarkets should stop dilly dallying and finish the switch to non-GM feed across the board. Shoppers are being left in the dark by the retailers about what animal feed is being used, and supermarkets need to recognise that people want to know so they can chose whether they want to buy GM-fed products. The Conservatives pledged clear labelling and that has to include GM-fed products when are they going to get on with it so consumers can vote with the wallets?"


Calls to Pete Riley 07903 341 065.


[1] For a list of foods produced without GM animal feed available in the UK see

[2] SCAN press release in Swedish available at,c556350 Google translation available.

[3] See

[4] USDA Foreign Agricultural Service 2010, "Swedish Retail Stores Refuse GMO Food". See

[5] In the special Eurobarometer poll in 2010 67% of Swedes said that GM food should not be encouraged, 74% thought GM food harmed the environment, and 71% thought was not safe for health. See

[6] See

[7] See results of a GkF/NOP opinion survey June 2010 at

[8] Conservative Party manifesto for the General Election 2010.

[9] See "MEPs undermine Cameron on food labels - New GM labels blocked by Conservative votes" at Ӭ
[10] See and
2. Action Alert: UK supermarkets can and should end GM animal feed
GM Freeze
16 May 2011

Dear friends,
You will have noticed from our press release today (see above) that Swedish slaughterhouses, under pressure from food retailers and consumers, are planning to ban GM-fed pigs by 1 September to bring pig meet into line with other animal products. This is happening despite a pro-GM stance in the Swedish government and other food authorities, proving that consumer pressure is the key.

Please write to your supermarket of choice (or as many as you can) referring them to our press release and making the following points:

* The move by Swedish companies proves that a food chain that excludes GM animal feed is entirely possible, and that indeed their analysis is that it is the key to the future survival of their meat industry regardless of the official government position.

* UK shoppers also reject GM animal feed in the food chain, as our poll showed, yet are being kept in the dark by supermarkets refusing to either eliminate it or show where it is with clear labels, as is done in Austria and Germany.

* You are aware that the UK poultry industry's ongoing attempts to end to the long-standing non-GM feed policy upheld by supermarkets and urge supermarkets to continue to ensure that their orders for poultry and eggs stipulate no GM feed to be used.

* Asking in addition for immediate action to institute a withdrawal of GM animal feed from the remainder of the food chain, and in the meantime labels to show which products are already non-GM fed.

You can find contact information for all major UK supermarkets at:
for email addresses and phone numbers and for postal addresses

Thank you for your action this is an important time in this discussion. We need to show clear consumer feeling on this to demonstrate to supermarkets that their policy should not only remain, but be extended.

If you want to buy non-GM fed animal products, please see our list at

As always, please do let us have copies of any responses you receive - they really help us keep our information up-to-date.
3. Comment by Akiko Frid about Swedish supermarket City Gross's GM-free feed policy

A Swedish supermarket City Gross ( will launch a new TV ad [on Monday 16 May] about their GMO-feed-free pigs.

This time, it's not about "choose GMO-free", but "choose Swedish (pigs)"!

City Gross will pay 1 krona extra per 1 kg to pig farmers who follow their standard (use GMO-free-feed).

From 1st May, basically all animal producers in Sweden use GMO-free feed for their animals (SCA's GMO-feed-free pork will be on the market from September), so to make sure that consumers buy their pork (or Swedish pork), City Gross has decided to pay 1 krona more to farmers in order to secure their livelihood.

Swedish products (especially pork) is threatened by imported products, including Danish pork (they are still fed by GMO-soya), so City Gross shows their solidarity to pig farmers by paying 1 krona extra - consumers do not need to pay extra, but City Gross does.

All other animals (cows, chickens, sheep) eat GMO-free! So, Sweden is a GMO-feed-free country!