November 20, 2009


New Zealand's Inghams tied up in GM feed controversy



Inghams Enterprise, New Zealand's second largest chicken supplier, is accused of feeding its chickens with GM feed when the company's advertisements claim to be GM-free.


Inghams' chickens are given soy feed, which contains 13 percent GM soy.


The Commerce Commission announced it would continue monitoring the company. The Commission had asked Jack Heinemann, a professor of genetics and molecular biology at the University of Canterbury, to report whether animals exposed to GM feed carried GM ingredients.


Heinemann said studies showed chickens fed GM feed still had the DNA and proteins produced by the feed, even when the carcass is at the supermarket.


Consumers who ate the food would be exposed to the material, but how long it would persist and whether it could be detected in a human being is unknown, he added.


The advertisements, which ran between January 2008 and June 2009, were pulled down after the Commission launched an investigation sparked by a complaint from anti-GM activists.

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