Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Companies should follow MTR's lead

Greenpeace volunteers dressed up as “traditional messengers”, unfurled a massive 6x4 feet scroll, which read, “Well Done MTR”, while handing over a Kannada copy of Safe Food Guide to their representative.

MTR is the only food company in India to have a comprehensive policy on GMOs. In an official response to Greenpeace, MTR Foods Ltd. stated, “We have a policy to use 100% natural ingredients and hence GM items are unacceptable.”

Various studies by independent scientists across the world have shown evidence suggesting that GM foods could be harmful to health, especially in the long run, and in ways that are yet unknown. Lab rats fed with GM food showed increased levels of liver and kidney toxicity, increased vulnerability to food allergies and low levels of immunity.

Greenpeace India launched the Safe Food Guide, earlier this week, which categorises 17 food companies operating in India into a ‘red list’ and a ‘green list’ based on their responses to Greenpeace regarding their policy on the use of GM ingredients in their food products.

PepsiCo, Dabur, Haldirams, ITC Foods and Ruchi Soya stated that that their products do not contain genetically modified ingredients in their foods as of today. Hence these companies made it to the ‘green’ list.Of all the companies, Nestlé (along with HUL and others)are on the other end of the spectrum in the ‘red list’.

“Responsible companies across the world are taking proactive steps and adopting a GM-free policy. Indian consumers should not be treated as lab rats for GM food to be experimented upon. Nestle has gone GM free in Europe, Russia and Brazil. Therefore, it is time that Nestlé stops violating its own policy in India and declares itself GM free,” demanded Shah.

Since the release of the guide, over 7,000 consumers have already started demanding that Nestlé India goes GM free and have sent emails to Mr. Antonio Wazcyk who will take over as Chairman and Managing Director, Nestlé India from October 2009.

No comments: