View Full Version : Companies Sign NON-GMO Beet Registry

02-12-09, 06:48 PM
Today the Center for Food Safety, along with allied food safety, environmental, and corporate watchdog groups, launched the Non-Genetically Modified (GM) Beet Sugar Registry (http://www.seedsofdeception.com/includes/services/nongm_sugar_beet_registry_display.cfm), documenting commitments from over seventy grocery chains and food producers including Organic Valley not to use or sell GM beet sugar. This call to halt the introduction of GM sugar beets into the food supply comes on the heels of public outcry over mercury contamination of our nation’s dominant sweetener - high fructose corn syrup - and on the eve of the year’s sweetest holiday - Valentine’s Day.
Sponsored by twelve organizations including the Center for Food Safety, Institute for Responsible Technology, and Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility, the Registry shows the food industry’s increasing apprehension about the government’s ability to adequately regulate food production technologies.
“The Non-GM Beet Sugar Registry (http://www.seedsofdeception.com/includes/services/nongm_sugar_beet_registry_display.cfm) is our Valentine’s Day gift to consumers who want to keep GM sugar out of their diets,” said Lisa Bunin, Campaigns Coordinator, Center for Food Safety. “It is impressive to see increasing numbers of food manufactures and retailers willing to actively resist the use of this untested GM sugar by vowing to keep it out of their cereals, breads and even Valentine’s Day candies.”
By signing on to the Registry, companies:
* Pledge to not support the introduction of sugar from GM sugar beets;
* Pledge to avoid, wherever possible, using GM beet sugar in their products;
* Pledge to ask the sugar beet industry to not introduce GM beet sugar into our nation’s food supply
Companies have rejected GM sugar beets not only because they have not been proven safe but also because the EPA had increased allowable levels of herbicide residues on GM sugar beet roots by up to 5,000 percent when USDA approved the crop for planting. This action was taken at the request of Monsanto, the sole manufacturer of GM Roundup Ready sugar beets. Extracted from the roots of the GM sugar beet plant, this type of sugar will be used in processed food and sold, unlabeled, to consumers beginning this year. The Registry website (http://www.seedsofdeception.com/includes/services/nongm_sugar_beet_registry_display.cfm)is a place where people can go to identify and support those companies that choose to publicly renounce the use of GM beet sugar.
“The effects of GM crop production on our environment and health have never been seriously researched and are not understood,” said Jeffrey Smith, Director, Institute for Responsible Technology. “We need to avoid the all-too-common situation of finding out a product is harmful after it has been approved and widely distributed. Requiring that GM foods be labeled is the only protection consumers have if they want to avoid eating GM foods.”
The economic viability of our nation’s non-GMO and organic beet and chard farmers is also in jeopardy. “GM sugar beets will inevitably cross-pollinate with related crops - such as table beets and chard - that are grown in close proximity,” said Tom Stearns, President of High Mowing Organic Seeds. “Overseas markets have already rejected other GM products, so the economic future of many of our nation’s farmers is being needlessly risked.”
Threats to consumers and food companies also raise flags within groups of socially responsible investors, such as the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR). “The introduction of yet another unlabeled, genetically modified product into the food supply creates uneasiness among responsible investors,” said Leslie Lowe, Energy and Environment Program Director, ICCR. “The industry refuses to label GE ingredients, denying consumers the right to know what is in their food. Food companies are preventing consumers and their families from making informed choices - that is bad for business, and it has created an economic backlash at home and abroad.”
A recent survey of food suppliers in the U.S., reported in Reuters (6 January 2009), found that companies would prefer to use non-GM beet sugar in their processed foods. Diamond Crystal, a major U.S. sugar company, said that it intends to avoid buying GM beet sugar, and that it will seek out suppliers that do not use GM beet sugar through a validation process.
The Registry (http://www.seedsofdeception.com/includes/services/nongm_sugar_beet_registry_display.cfm) is sponsored by the following organizations: As You Sow, Californians for GE-Free Agriculture, Center for Environmental Health, Center for Food Safety, Ecological Farming Association, Food and Water Watch, High Mowing Organic Seeds, Institute for Responsible Technology, Interfaith Coalition on Corporate Responsibility, Organic Consumers Association, Sierra Club, and The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Food.

02-12-09, 07:04 PM
Also, please sign a petition directed to Mars and Hershey to join this registry:

Full Petition Text:

In 2001, Hershey's and M&M Mars told consumers they would not use genetically modified sugar. But now that GM sugar
beets are being planted commercially, you have made no such assurances. As a customer, I am very disappointed.

I have always looked to sugar as one of the few ingredients I could count on to be GM-free, unlike corn syrups and some other sweeteners. Without labeling of GM products, I have to rely on companies that have publicly stated that they will avoid GM sugar in order to make my purchasing decisions.

For this Valentine's Day, show me the love by continuing the opposition you voiced in 2001, and do not accept genetically modified beet sugar for your products. Over 70 food companies and retailers have joined the new Non-GM Sugar Beet Registry which lets consumers like me know that they plan to avoid GM beet sugar, at http://www.seedsofdeception.com/includes/services/no (http://www.seedsofdeception.com/includes/services/no)
Please sign on to the Registry so I can continue to purchase your products with confidence.

Signed by:
[Your name]
[Your address]

02-12-09, 09:31 PM