29 May 2012

KFC commits to Australian GM-free canola oil

Chief KFC supply chain officer Michael Clark says that at this stage the company will only buy non-GM canola oils. M Clark also says: "Some consumers find it important that it's non-GM and if we can source non-GM canola we'll continue to do so."

KFC spokesperson Angela Cooper also confirmed by email that: "We have been working closely with our suppliers to ensure our canola oil is not sourced from genetically modified canola seeds while also meeting the demand of our KFC stores nationwide. Our suppliers conduct regular testing ..."

"But many other fast food outlets fry in GM canola oil or Peerless' Formula 40 cooking oil, made from Australian GM cottonseed oil.

Formula 40's ingredients include: Vegetable Oil (95% min. Cottonseed Oil) Antifoam (900a Dimethyl polysiloxane).

"Over 90% of Australian cotton is genetically manipulated (GM), to tolerate being sprayed with Roundup weedkiller and to make its own built in insect toxins. We question the safety, sustainability and environmental impacts of GM cotton production." Mr Phelps says.

"The GM oil from cottonseed is marketed by Peerless as Formula 40 for frying fast foods or may be in generic vegetable oils, sold unlabelled to shoppers.

"Under Australian Food Standards there are no requirements for restaurant and fast food meals to be labelled. Refined GM vegetable oils are also exempt from labelling though most contain traces of GM DNA and protein that the Food Standard says should be labelled.

"So, to avoid GM oils customers ought to ask all fast or convenience food shops what frying oil they use, and also leave unlabelled bottles of generic vegetable oils on supermarket shelves.

"Gene Ethics is pleased that KFC took the lead, away from palm oil to non-GM canola in response to customer concerns over the environmental and animal impacts of palm oil grown in Indonesia and Malaysia .

"We hope this will lead to others following suit and making the change to the healthier and safer non-GM options now available," Mr Phelps concludes.

Learn more about GM and normal plant breeding.

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