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Genetic engineering used in food in the department store of the West?
Activists from the environmental protection group "Greenpeace" are demonstrating in front of the largest department store in Europe, the Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe). The environmentalists accuse the department store of having genetically modified food in its range. With their campaign they want to persuade the company to take the criticized food out of sale and to educate consumers.
According to Greenpeace, the department store stocks 37 different products that contain genetically modified ingredients such as soybeans, sugar or corn starch. According to the environmental activists, all of the foods affected come from the United States. The list of ingredients usually only shows in small print that genetic engineering is included. However, environmentalists also discovered a baking mix containing GM maize, although this was not stated on the packaging. Such labeling of ingredients that also exist in genetically modified plants is mandatory in the European Union (EU). In a statement, Greenpeace pointed out that importers are also punishable if they violate the EU directive. For this reason, Greenpeace requires the KaDeWe management to take the affected goods out of the market immediately.
Peanut butter, sauces and baking mix affected As an example, Greenpeace cited the KaDeWe products Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Kellogg’s Pop Tarts gene sugar, gene maize and gene soy. In Tipsy BBQ Sauce is made with GM cornstarch and GM soybeans. The baking mix, which was not specially labeled as GM food, comes from "Betty Crocker".
KaDeWe has a good reputation worldwide and is therefore very popular with tourists. The department store is known for selling fine food products, which are preferably offered on the upper floor for gourmets. According to their own statements, the environmental activists want to use their campaigns to draw consumers' attention to “gene food”. Interested parties can vote against genetically modified food on signature lists.
"Most consumers do not want to be cheered on gene food," warns Christiane Huxdorff, an expert in genetic engineering from Greenpeace. "With genetically modified food, they have to involuntarily support the cultivation of risky gene plants."
Genetic foods mostly come from the USA In the United States, a large number of foods contain genetically modified variants of corn, soybeans or sugar beets. Unlike in Europe, genetic engineering in the USA does not have to be marked separately on the packaging. But there too, according to the “Information Service on Genetic Engineering”, more and more consumers are demanding food producers to be GM-free. A million citizens have already signed a petition calling for GM foods to be labeled. "In the interest of consumers, KaDeWe should only sell imported products that are guaranteed not to contain any ingredients from GM plants," says Greenpeace activist Huxdorff. (sb)
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Image: Klicker / pixelio.de