GE-free chooks

Wednesday, 27 April, 2005

Three of Australia's major poultry companies, Inghams, Bartter Steggles and Baiada, have committed to avoid genetically engineered (GE) food and feed, in response to consumer demand. This decision by the companies is claimed to be one of the biggest single shifts away from GE foods since the introduction of GE labelling laws in 2001 and welcomed by consumer groups.

Inghams, Bartter Steggles and Baiada represent around 80% of Australian poultry sales and import the lion's share of over 300,000 tonnes of soy that comes into Australia each year. Until now, these soy imports have been claimed to be the biggest single source of GE contamination of the Australian food chain. The policy shift will mean that, within months, these imports should change to conventional non-GE soy.

The decision to source GE-free feed comes less than two months after the decision by the consumer watchdog (ACCC) to stop poultry companies labelling their chickens as 'GE-free' if they use GE feed.

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