October 13, 2003
Australia, New Zealand Overwhelming Public Rejection of GE Chicken Feed
A Nelson woman was among 60 Greenpeace activists who shut down Inghams main feed silo in Newcastle Australia on last Friday, October 10. Nelson activist, Kaz Riley is dressed in a chicken suit, locked onto the front gate preventing distribution of Inghams genetically engineered (GE) poultry feed. The action in Australia is an escalation of the campaign against Inghams already running in New Zealand.
Greenpeace want the poultry and feed company to stop importing GE soy for animal feed.
Activists are dressed in chicken suits, holding flags saying "Feed me GM-free". A banner has been unfurled on the silo reading, "INGHAM - putting GM in chicken."
In September, Greenpeace New Zealand activists shut down the Inghams/Harvey Farms feed mill in Hamilton, demanding that the Aussie-owned poultry and feed company stop importing GE soy for animal feed.
Inghams soy is the single biggest source of GE contamination in both the Australian and New Zealand food chain.
"Greenpeace is taking this action on behalf of the majority of Australian and New Zealand consumers who don't want genetically engineered crops anywhere in the food chain," said GE Campaigner John Hepburn. "This concern is justified because there has been no long-term testing of the impact of GE food on people, animals or the environment. Consumers are taking part in a genetic engineering experiment against their wishes."
In both New Zealand and Australia, there has been overwhelming public rejection of chicken fed GE feed.
Laboratory testing of Inghams chicken feed imported into Australia has found that 70% of the soy used is Monsanto's "Roundup Ready" genetically engineered soy, most likely imported from the USA. Greenpeace has identified over 300,000 tons of GE soy being imported into Australia each year.
Greenpeace is conducting a similar activity at the Inghams silo in Berrima, and a delegation has taken the message to Inghams corporate headquarters in Liverpool. Led by Greenpeace Australia/Pacific CEO Peter Mullins, the Liverpool delegation includes friendly chicken-suited activists who are engaging with Inghams employees and shoppers in the area.
"As Australia's leading chicken producer, Inghams needs to follow the lead of the dairy industry and publicly commit to using non-GE soy to feed their stock," said Hepburn. "GE free soy is readily available on world markets and making the change would cost less than 1 cent per chicken - it's chicken-feed!"