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Australian Chain Commits to GM-Free Private Label Food

SOUTH AUSTRALIA -- Independent supermarket chain Foodland SA here said yesterday it has rejected the use of genetically modified (GM) food in its Foodland range of products.

The company called for better labeling of branded and fresh products in Australia, to ensure consumers can choose whether or not to buy other goods containing GM foods.

Foodland SA's c.e.o., Russell Markham, said in a statement his company decided to avoid GM foods because of feedback from customers. "Our customers have overwhelmingly indicated that they do not want GM ingredients in our Foodland products," he said.

"None of our Foodland range currently contains GM ingredients, and we feel it is important to assure our customers that all our foods will remain GM free in the future," noted Markham.

He also said customers should have the right to choose what foods they buy and feed their families, and that branded and fresh products made from GM foods should be clearly labeled. "This will require changes to the existing labeling laws, which are inadequate, especially for goods made from overseas sourced ingredients," he said.

Markham said the labeling issue was particularly important given moves by some state governments to lift bans on the commercial growing of GM foods.

Markham said Foodland currently has 160 Foodland branded products, ranging from dairy to frozen and grocery items. More than half of these are manufactured in South Australia.

Foodland's stance follows decisions by Australia's largest food company, Goodman Fielder, and Australia's largest lamb exporter, Tatiara Meats, to exclude GM products.

Foodland has 109 stores in South Australia, the Northern Territory, and New South Wales.
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