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[SANET-MG] Ben and Jerry are GM free
Ben & Jerry's breaks ranks with Unilever over 'risky' GM ice cream
By Jonathan Owen
Published: 16 July 2006
Ben & Jerry's, the self-styled "all natural" ice cream manufacturer, has
broken ranks with food giant Unilever amid controversy about GM ice cream.
The breach follows a report in The Independent on Sunday last week
concerns from scientists over the risk to health from a synthetically
produced "anti-freeze" protein, using a GM process, which Unilever is
trying to get
approved in the UK.
A spokesperson for Ben & Jerry's said: "We would not dream of including
anything like that in our products. One of the biggest problems is that
affected by Unilever's actions even though they are nothing to do with
that we behave. The fact that we are not using this GM ingredient shows
we are not following all of their decisions."
The company is owned by Unilever, as are Wall's and Birds Eye. Unilever
described the ingredient as an "exciting new technology that has potential
benefits for ice cream, including the possibility of increased fruit
and lower fat content". It declined to comment on the details of its
application, beyond stating, "We believe that it will provide some real
benefit but we have to go through the approval system, so we'll have to
In a report to the Food Standards Agency (FSA), researchers from the
Independent Science Panel warned: "Without long- term testing, we could
off an immunological time bomb." The FSA has confirmed that the
one of several that it has received. Its Advisory Committee on Novel Foods
and Processes decides on Thursday whether to allow the application to
go to the
European Union for approval.
This comes as the bio-tech industry is taking advantage of free-trade
to attempt to break into the European market, with dozens of
either grow or import GM produce, such as rice, potatoes, maize and sugar
Peter Melchett, policy director of the Soil Association, said: "Ben &
Jerry's is showing some very sound commercial judgement
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