The British Retail Consortium, the group which represents retailers in the UK, has dismissed protests made by the campaign group Greenpeace over "GM milk". The campaign group has staged a number of protests over the use of GM feed for dairy cows, but the retail consortium said the claims lack scientific evidence.
Greenpeace has been staging protests almost every month since it was discovered that dairy cows that produce milk for Sainsbury's own label milk, consume genetically modified feed. The group which has been campaigning against GM foods for over a decade, said consumers should be made aware that what consumers are buyig and driking is, what they call "GM milk".
Sarah North, a spokesperson for the campaign group said, "most customers don't even know Sainsbury's own-brand milk is GM. Sainsbury's says it only sells the best quality food, but when it comes to milk it has a long way to go."
However, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) claims that the connection between GM feed and the milk that consumers purchase has been made unfairly. The group said in a statement, releases earlier in the week, "the majority of UK retailers believe Greenpeace campaigners are creating unnecessary food fear through misleading claims - without scientific foundation - by suggesting that some retailers are selling GM Milk."
Although the campaigners call the milk GM, according to scientific research, the GM feed does not have an affect on the milk's content.
The announcement made by the retail group is the latest stage in a war of words where retailers have been dubbed as irresponsible for not doing more to make consumers aware of the origins of the feed.
"GM is getting into our food chain because GM crops are being fed to farm animals like chickens, pigs and cows and so getting into our milk, eggs, cheese and meat. There is no requirement for foods from animals fed on GM-crops to be labelled as GM," Greenpeace argues.
But Kevin Hawkins the general director of BRC disagreed. He said: "The milk in question contains no GM protein and is no way classifiable as a GM product. Greenpeace's claims are without scientific foundation and are misleading. They are pursuing their own campaigning and fund raising agenda", he added.
Greenpeace has been campaigning against GM food since the early nineties and is committed to increasing organic food consumption in the UK. It is unclear if it has more protests planned.