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Frozen food retailer Iceland announced today that it believes plans revealed by UK food and drink manufacturers and retailers to only label foods which contain genetically modified (GM) soya or maize protein rather than all products containing any GM crop derivatives, to be inadequate. Consequently Iceland will ban all ingredients derived from GM crops from Iceland Own Label products.

Says Iceland chairman and chief executive Malcolm Walker: "I respect this action by other food retailers and manufacturers but personally don't believe it goes far enough. The proposal is only label products which contain protein from GM soya or maize. This means for example that soya oil or lecithin from GM soya could be present and consumers would have no way of knowing. Labelling for the presence of GM protein only would result in probably less than 5% of processed foods being labelled whereas if all GM derivatives are included as much as 60% of processed foods could be labelled accordingly."

He added: "I personally have serious concerns about the whole issue of GM foods and judging by the mail I receive, so do large numbers of consumers. They should be able to make informed choices but those choices should be based on complete information."

Note to editors:

UK food and drink manufacturers and retailers announced today they will label products containing genetically modified soya or maize protein from January 1998. This initiative is supported by the British Retail Consortium, the Food and Drink Federation and the Institute of Grocery Distributors.

SOURCE Iceland

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