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GM content in our food, consumer wins and losses, a call to action

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A letter from our friends at the ACB. For their direct contact details please see the end of the letter. Let us support them in their efforts to make and keep our food safe and GM free!

Dear Consumer,

For the past four years, the ACB has been submitting a number of products for testing to ascertain their GM content as well as to gauge the extent to which food producers are responding to all your wonderful consumer activism and pressure. This year the ACB re-tested 4 popular maize milled products as well as 16 baby and breakfast cereals.

First the good news!

It is heartening that with regard to the baby cereals market, Tiger Brand's Purity Nutripak and Nestle's Cerelac Maize were found to contain very low levels of GM maize. However, the test results of the 14 processed breakfast cereals vary considerably. While popular brands such as Pronutro Wheatfree, Nestle Milo and Cheerios all showed very low percentages of GM maize—low enough not to trigger required labelling of 5% GM content—others, such as Bokomo Oatees and Tiger Brand Jungle Ultra, still contain high levels of GM ingredients. However, 8 brands of corn flakes were tested and showed either no GM content, unquantifiable GM or very low levels that would not trigger labelling.

 See ACB press release for the test results on the cereals tested at http://tinyurl.com/GMOtests2015  Consumer pressure is working thanks to you.

 
Since the ACB first started testing food products in 2012, and sharing these results with consumers, GM foods within the processed food market have changed considerably.

Consumer victories include the following:

    Pronutro Wheatfree which in 2012 was found to contain 90% GM maize and 71% GM soya, while 2015 test results reveal 3.18% GM maize and no GM soya detected.

    Futurelife which has moved to using non-GM maize and soya in its products as a result of intense pressure from consumers.

    Nestle too has bowed to consumer demands and announced that it will no longer use GM maize in its baby cereals.

    Tiger Brands, in response to your consumer activism, also announced a move to non GM maize in it's baby cereals.

 Now for the bad news.

 We were dismayed to see the four food companies that control our maize milled market—Premier, Tiger Brands, Foodcorp and Pioneer—remain intransigent and are determined to force feed South African consumers with risky GM maize. The re-test results show an overall increase in the percentage of GM maize in the popular maize brands. The average amount of GM maize in a packet of maize meal is now 80%.

Let us not forget, that at least 69% of GM maize crops  are sprayed with glyphosate, a chemical which the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Cancer Research (IARC) recently classified as a  'probable human carcinogen'. The lion’s share of the GM traits used in South African maize production belong to Monsanto.

We need to celebrate our victories but we have to at the same time remain vigilant and keep demanding that all our foods – staples and processed foods – be GM free. We need to keep up this fight.

How can you help? Producers respond best to numerous and personalised letters that they have to respond to. We now know that this does keep the pressure on producers and we'd like to implore you to keep writing to them. We have provided contact details for them below.  Please CC me ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) in any emails that you send to food producers.  

We would also be most grateful for financial contributions to our food testing fund. Our regular testing of food products and your subsequent action keeps the pressure on food producers to be honest in the labelling of foods and in responding to consumer pressure and hence constantly reducing the amount of GM content in their products.

As always your feedback is most welcome.

Together for a just and equitable food system!

Mariam and Zakiyya

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AFRICAN CENTRE FOR BIOSAFETY

NEDBANK CHEQUE ACCOUNT # 1975 057 988

GREENSIDE

BRANCH CODE # 197 505


Reference: Your email address

Contact Details of Food Producers

MAIZE MILLERS

The four big maize millers are Tiger Brands, Pioneer Foods, Premier Foods and Foodcorp.  

Tiger Brands

Telephone: 011 840 4000

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pioneer Foods

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Telephone Sasko Grain: 0800 022000

Premier Foods

Telephone: 0860 122 300

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Foodcorp

011 549 1030

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Online Contact Form: http://www.foodcorp.co.za/contact-us/


CEREAL COMPANIES

The four big breakfast cereal companies are Nestle, Tiger Brands (Purity), Pioneer Foods (Bokomo) and Kellogg's.

Nestle

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Online Contact Form: https://www.nestle.co.za/info

Telephone: 011 5146116

Tiger Brands

Telephone: 011 840 4000

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Purity Contact Page: http://www.purity.co.za/contact/

Purity Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/PurityBaby

 Pioneer Foods / Bokomo

Telephone: 0860 221 102   

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Online Contact Form: http://www.bokomo.co.za/customer-care

Kellogg's

Telephone: 0860 200 601

Online Contact Form: http://www.kelloggs.co.za/en_ZA/contact-us.html