Due to consumer demand, the largest German poultry producer, Wiesenhof, has announced that it will turn back to using GM-free animal feed. This is yet another example of the health movement sparking necessary change within Big Ag and Big Food.
Wiesenhof had actually moved to GMO feed previously after using GMO-free feed for its chicken. The decision to now revert to GMO-free feed comes just 10 months after the German Poultry Association (ZDG) unilaterally declared that it would stop using GM-free animal feed.
Wiesenhof confirmed on Friday that they will soon be in a position to supply GM-Free fed poultry again, as this is what is “desired by customers”.
Alexander Hissting of VLOG (Association Food without Genetic Engineering) said: “We expect an almost complete return of the poultry meat industry to GMO -free production in the coming months.”
Wiesenhof’s decision is also sparked by a demand from the the top German supermarkets for GMO-free poultry. The supermarkets demanded that the German Poultry Association (ZDG) stop using GMO feed for both egg and poultry meat production, starting from January 1st 2015.
“By taking a stand against the biotech and poultry industries, German supermarkets have proven that it’s possible to respond to consumer demand for poultry that is fed non-GMO feed and in doing so, force significant changes to the supply chain despite pressure from Monsanto and industry trade associations,” said Ronnie Cummins, international director of the Organic Consumers Association and its Mexico affiliate, Via Organica.
The German Poultry Association had previously claimed that there simply wasn’t enough GMO-free feed in the system to supply Europe’s needs. But following close consultation with Brazilian authorities, the German supermarkets realized that the reasons given by ZDG for turning their back on GMO-free feed did not stand up.
Sustainable Pulse Director, Henry Rowlands, stated:
“The wool has been pulled over the eyes of retailers across Europe by the GMO industry over the past year. We welcome the news that they have started to fight back in the interest of their customers, who do not want to buy GM-fed eggs and meat.”
Claire Robinson of Earth Open Source, a Global GMO Free Coalition partner organization, said:
“Retailers must ensure that their GMO-free feed requirements are communicated all the way along the supply chain to the Brazilian soymeal exporters.”
Vandana Shiva of Navdanya, a vocal advocate for GM-free foods, has added:
“This is an important step towards food democracy, the right to choose what you eat, and the right to know how it was produced.”
The German retailers also indicated that they will demand a completely GMO-free feed supply chain in all animal feed sectors, including dairy, pork and beef as a next step that is to follow relatively soon.