MADRID, Spain, May 11, 1999 (ENS) - Spain's largest supermarket chain,
Pryca, announced Monday that it is phasing out the use of genetically
modified (GM) ingredients in own-brand food products sold in its 58 stores.
Genetically modified foodstuffs include some varieties of soy beans, canola
oil, corn, cottonseed oil, potatoes, squash and tomatoes.
Describing the decision as "a response to public fears," a Pryca
spokesperson said that the company had instructed suppliers to stop using GM
ingredients in products which carry the company trademark by the end of this
Carrefour, the supermarket giant which owns the largest shareholding in
Pryca, has already introduced a similar measure in its French stores.
Pryca's decision was described by the Spanish Consumers' Union as "a
marketing exercise" and "ineffective because GM ingredients are so
widespread and difficult to identify."
Laurate canola is a proprietary product marketed by Calgene Oils under the
brand name LAURICAL®. Approved in the U.S. and Canada, it is used in
confectionery coatings, coffee whiteners, icings and whipped toppings as
well as in soaps. However, Diego Herranz of the environmental group
Ecologists in Action welcomed the move and said his organisation expected
the decision to cause "a chain reaction against GM ingredients." The group
has been pressing for a similar undertaking from other major Spanish food
Marks and Spencer España and Nestlé España said that their companies' policy
was neither to sell nor produce foods containing genetically-modified
Spain is the biggest importer of GM soya and the European Union's only
significant producer of GM maize.
Some 19,000 hectares of GM maize (corn) were planted last year, according to
government figures. The upper house of the Spanish parliament today begins
debating a new law on the production and sale of foods which will include
the issue of genetically modified ingredients.
To Unsubscribe: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the command
"unsubscribe sanet-mg". If you receive the digest format, use the command
To Subscribe to Digest: Email email@example.com with the command
All messages to sanet-mg are archived at: