Greenpeace USA claims victory as Gerber baby foods go (almost) GM free
The American chapter of Greenpeace welcomed an announcement by baby-food manufacturer, Gerber, that it will refrain from using GE corn, soy and other ingredients in the baby foods produced in Switzerland for its European customers. The company asserts that it cannot guarantee that its baby foods produced for the American market will be GE free.
Gerber’s decision comes after a report from Greenpeace USA that exposed the presence of transgenic DNA from genetically-modified corn and soy in Gerber’s Mixed Cereal for babies as well as the presence of transgenic DNA from GM soy in hospital formulas made by Gerber’s parent company, pharmaceutical giant Novartis and affiliate Ross Products.
A Greenpeace activist offered proof that some Gerber products contain transgenic DNA when he bought dry and wet, jarred Gerber baby foods from several New York City grocery stores. The products were sent to a British lab where it was found that the dry cereal products tested positive for low levels of GE ingredients. After requesting information from Gerber regarding its use of GE ingredients and receiving no reply, a news conference was held on 18 June.
According to the lab results commissioned by Greenpeace USA, Gerber Mixed Cereal for Baby tested positive for DNA from:
- GM insect resistant “Bt” corn
- GM herbicide tolerant “Roundup Ready” soybeans
Two supplements, Novartis’ IsoSource and Ross Products’ Osmolite, both contained transgenic DNA from “Roundup Ready” soy.
Novartis dismissed Greenpeace’s claims that its report about Gerber baby foods led to the company’s decision to go GE free in Europe. According to a Novartis spokesperson, the company had been considering the change for some time.