Support for Inghams from an Unlikely Source!

Support for Inghams from an Unlikely Source (GE FREE NZ Press Release 18 November 2009)


Chicken-producer Inghams, under fire for misleading consumers is being offered support from a most unlikely source: GE free NZ (in food and environment).


GE Free NZ has offered support to the manufacturer in living up to its promise of a GM-free Policy, and keeping faith with its customers, even though there is still the risk of accidental GM contamination in future.

It seems Inghams itself has been misled or has been misinformed about the 'non-effect' of GM feed on animals, leading to them deliberately using GM soy in feed despite telling their customers the opposite.


Inghams had assumed 'it makes no difference'to the animals, and used this belief to justify feeding chickens GM soy when it was convenient to their business. But they were wrong.The science does not support their assumption, as shown by the independent advice used by the Commerce Commission in ruling Inghams had been misleading consumers.


"Like many consumers, we have been misled over Ingham's chicken advertisment. We understood they were using Identity Preserved(IP), non-GM ingredients, and even gave them free advertising," says Claire Bleakley from GE free NZ in food and environment. "They now need to live up to their GM-free policy claims, keep faith with consumers."


"What Inghams does now is of great importance to the future of their brand and the trust consumers can have in it," says Jon Carapiet from GE Free NZ in food and environment.


"To abandon efforts to keep their products GM-free would be the ultimate betrayal of their customers, and present a public health-risk."


The science does not support Inghams previous claims that GM feed makes no difference. Rather the evidence is that individual GM feed-products may or may not cause changes in the organism and may or may not result in novel genetic elements being integrated into the animal, with a range of impacts varying from negligible to anti-nutritional, sub-clinical or actual toxicity.


Consumers should support manufacturers genuinely pursuing a GM-free policy for their products, and GE Free NZ has extended this offer to Inghams if they promise to be genuine about their previously-promoted GM-Free policy.


In this absence of proper testing to verify the effects of each type of GE product available for animal feed, it would be unethical for Inghams to continue to use them. Though Inghams may be try to persuade themselves that 'cheap chicken' will meet the needs of impoverished, uninformed or non-concerned segments of the market, it would  transfer the risks to the most vulnerable parts of the community: people who are forced to buy the cheapest products available no matter the damage to their health or the wider environment.

GE Free NZ has written to Inghams offering suport for a genuine GM-free policy and  a response is awaited. 




Jon Carapiet 0210507681


Claire Bleakley 06-3089842 / 027 348 6731