Woolworths aims to further reduce any GM products
Woolworths has announced plans to reduce the current number of products containing ingredients derived from GM crop sources in its private label foods by 50 percent over the next year – in keeping with a prior commitment on GM ingredients.
Currently only 5.3 percent of Woolworths private label foods contain ingredients from potential GM crop sources. That should drop to less than 2.7 percent within 12 months.
In 1999 Woolworths announced a policy on GM ingredients and in 2000 introduced GMO labeling so that customers could make informed buying decisions.
Every ingredient is checked back to source, and where it cannot guarantee that it was not derived from a GM crop, the ingredient is clearly labelled “may be Genetically Modified (GM)”. Maize, soybeans and cotton are the only GM crops allowed to be grown in South Africa.
“The agricultural industry has changed significantly since GM crops were introduced in South Africa in 1998. It has become more challenging to source competitively priced ingredients from non-GM sources, and we are most grateful to our suppliers who have committed to taking this journey with us,” says Woolworths MD for Foods, Zyda Rylands (above).
“Working together, we are identifying ingredients from non-GM crop sources that are both sustainable and commercially viable.”
“Many of our customers have told us that they would prefer not to buy products that may contain ingredients from GM crop sources, and we respect their wishes. In addition to our commitment to remove GMOs where possible, we will continue to offer alternatives, such as our certified organic products, which are guaranteed free of GMOs, and of course currently no fruit and veg grown commercially in SA contain GMOs.”
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