Poultry feed update

April 11, 2013 by The Co-operative Food

The amount of GM crops grown across the globe has increased rapidly and it’s becoming more and more difficult to have a continuous and guaranteed supply of non-GM soya for animal feed.


We’ve been working with suppliers to maintain non-GM feed for as long as practically possible, but this position is now becoming untenable. Our own-brand chicken and turkey supplier has informed us that they are no longer able to guarantee that the animal feed they are using is non-GM, so we are no longer able to guarantee to you that these animals have not been fed a non-GM diet.


We’ve looked for alternative ways to source non-GM feed, but the limited supplies of guaranteed non-GM feed available, and the increased costs to farmers and customers means this isn’t feasible.


Our shell egg supplier has also informed us that, they are having difficulties maintaining a guaranteed supply of non-GM soya, although they are continuing to look at ways to resolve this issue.

Rest assured the poultry and eggs themselves are not genetically modified and the European Food Safety Authority have stated that meat fed on GM soya is considered to be as safe as food from animals  fed a non-GM diet. GM feed poses no risk to either your safety or that of the animals it’s fed to. In fact, before any GM products can be used in the EU, the European Union has to verify it’s safe for human and animal health.


You can read more about our GM position and policy on our page here. Details of the FSA’s position can be found on their website www.food.gov.uk/policy-advice/gm/gmanimal.

Have your say

  • Commonly known as Jan

    Yes, because GM products have not increased the risk of tumours and cancer which have been proven, yet propaghanda such as this tries to force people to believe its ‘safe to eat’

  • FSA proven lol


  • http://twitter.com/Angelmountain5 Brian John

    Shame on you, Co-op! There is abundant non-GM soy available from Brazil and other countries — at a perfectly good price, if you advance order like the French and German supermarkets do. You are joining the race to the bottom — and endangering food security into the bargain. Why have you joined this appalling campaign designed to remove non-GM soy completely from the market place? I thought the Co-op behaved in an ethical fashion — not any longer. Goodby, Co-op — from now on I shop elsewhere.

  • andy wood

    Your ethical credentials are showing serious cracks – perhaps it’s time for us all to shop locally or grow our own. I am very sad to see that the movement my Grandfather lived for is now part of the problem

  • andy wood

    The issue is not “safe to eat” it is “patenting food sources” – the Co-op MUST stand against this or stop claiming to be an ethical company

  • http://www.facebook.com/oliver.tickell.7 Oliver Tickell

    We cannot afford a world in which the seeds that form the basis of the human food chain are owned by a tiny number of powerful companies like Monsanto – and this is what the global GM project is all about. This, rather than health issues, is the main reason why the GM juggernaut must be opposed.

  • ruaridhw

    Your ambivalent stance on GM is seriously making me question my support for and investment in the Cooperative Society. I am looking for an ethical food supplier and an ethical banking operation.

  • Louise

    As consumers we want GM free, throughout the food chain, GM free food for humans and animals, If British supermakets stand together and communicate with the animal feed suppliers and they talk to the farmers – what will the farmers choose to grow? Please C-op make a stand – don’t bow down to the bio tech compaines – you know British compaines do not now and have never wanted to eat genetically engineered food. If more of this rubbish is planted then none of us will have food choice.

  • Denise Michell

    To whom it may concern,

    I am writing to you today to ask that you reconsider your ending of the
    ban on your suppliers feeding gm food to livestock and urge you to
    cease the use or existence of any such food in the food chain
    completely. I am shocked and appalled that this is a decision you have
    made and can accept no reason or excuse as to the use of such foods at
    all and am further appalled that I possibly have already allowed such
    items or derivatives into my body and my families, whether knowingly or
    unknowingly. This action is dreadful as up until now I have considered the Co.Op to be the best place to shop as did my mother and her mother before her. I used to stick their dividend stamps into their books.
    I will
    be boycotting your foodstuffs until I can be assured they will not be Genetically Modified products. Until this issue is resolved I will of course advise my very large circle of influence to do the same.

    Yours sincerely, Cllr. Denise Michell. Glastonbury

  • serenity

    i will boycott the co-op and change my bank account if gmo goes ahead

  • Michelle

    I am really not happy about your stance on allowing GMO to enter the food chain. “Secret” tests on rats revealed horrific side effects : http://rt.com/news/monsanto-rats-tumor-france-531/

    It is companies, like yours, who should lead the way in sourcing non-GMO crops. By financially supporting the farmers and suppliers of non-GMO you maintain the demand and therefore the supply.

    Please look to Brazil for non-GMO crops, they claim to have enough to supply the UK. Do not let companies like Monsanto rule, they are setting us all up for illness and disease in the future. You must be aware of the thousands of Indian farmers who commit suicide due to Monsanto’s GMO: http://www.mediafreedominternational.org/2013/03/20/monsanto-and-indias-suicide-economy/

    In light of your current status you cannot maintain your claim to be an ethical company.

  • chouchoucat7

    So ‘Co-Operative’ from now on should really add ‘with Monsanto, against happy & healthy life for everyone’ to be truthful … It’s a dead-end road for you, because money/profit isn’t worth the price, trust me.

  • Peter Doodes

    If you really believe there is no option, (but there is) then simply label the produce in large and easy to read letters “This product is fed on Genetically Modified Food”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/naropa.peter Naropa Peter Burns

    “the FSA have proven that meat fed on GM soya is no different from meat fed a non-GM diet” – how did they do that? We know that corn-fed chicken tastes different from fish-fed chicken… and that spreadable butter is made by changing the cow’s foodstuff! Who are they kidding?

  • Karel Phillips

    I believe there is no independent evidence to suggest that these animal feeds are safe for human consumption. Having watched a documentary and interviews with rural people in Argentina directly affected by being exposed to glyphosate spray applications on soya crops I can only express my deepest disappointment. If Germany and France can manage a transparent system then try harder. I am a Co-operative member for Energy and purchase groceries from your stores. I will no longer buy any meat, dairy or eggs from your stores until your policy changes. Please respect my wish to make an informed purchase.

  • http://www.facebook.com/oliver.tickell.7 Oliver Tickell


    This explains why British food retailers like our UK Coops have to stand up to Monsanto and the GM juggernaut. The alternative is to deliver them absolute power over world food supply.

  • http://twitter.com/dolphinwitchuk Lesley Evans

    “In 2009, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) stated that, “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with genetically modified (GM) food,” including infertility, immune problems, accelerated ageing, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. The AAEM has asked physicians to advise all patients to avoid GM foods”

  • http://www.facebook.com/kimbacoopersimpson Kim Cooper-Simpson

    Adding my voice to say how deeply disappointed/disgusted the Co-Op has bowed to the trans-genetic seed master’s pressure & carry meats, dairy & produce which is GMO.
    Where are the ethics in that when you customers look toward your shops for sustainably sourced food that is produced in an ethical manner?

    The pro-GMO shrills can spout all of the industry propaganda they wish, independent research however, proves otherwise. Tumours, infertility & the potential for horrendous human disease as well as these seeds of deception have consistently failed to produce the harvests so touted by Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta & the others.

    One only need to look towards other countries where the citizens have risen up against GMOs, burning the seeds or destroying the crops, to understand food freedom is important to many people, whether or not they write letters, sign petitions or attend protests. We’ve a human right to know our food is natural & not tainted by any outside ‘organism’.
    Looks as if I’ll be shopping at Waitrose too.

  • Roger Wilfert

    Amongst the major life or death issues that the mainstream media rarely mention, Clean Energy, Multinational control of governments, Invasion of privacy, Deliberate poisoning of pharmaceuticals etc. the most fundamental ,which affects everyone is Food integrity. If the Co-op is ‘Good with Food’ prove it, don’t bend to the forces that want to enslave us.

  • Witod Drzazga

    Big disappointment. Will go shoping elsewhere.

  • apscotland

    I am utterly disappointed that the Co-op has caved in to pressure and refuses to ensure that the food supplies for your animals will no longer be guaranteed to be free of GM. This is much less a “food safety” issue than an ethical issue. I want no part of my life to contribute to the monopolistic greed of the GM industry, and your decision to allow GM food into your food chain guarantees that I will no longer support the Co-op. I currently have a business bank account, personal current and savings account with the Co-op, and was about to transfer my and my partner’s ISAs to the Co-op. However, you have just joined the ranks of the unethical supermarkets, so we are now looking for a truly ethical bank to move all our accounts to. Goodbye Co-op.

  • http://www.facebook.com/asifthatsme Mark Fenney

    You’ve lost this regular customer, shame on you CO-OP!

  • Whelk Face

    It’s important to realize that genetically engineered (GE) foods have never been proven safe for human consumption over a lifetime, let alone over generations. Monsanto and its advocates claim genetically engineered crops are “the most-tested food product that the world has ever seen.” What they don’t tell you is that:

    Industry-funded research predictably affects the outcome of the trial. This has been verified by dozens of scientific reviews comparing funding with the findings of the study. When industry funds the research, it’s virtually guaranteed to be positive. Therefore, independent studies must be done to replicate and thus verify results

    The longest industry-funded animal feeding study was 90 days, which recent research has confirmed is FAR too short. In the world’s first independently funded lifetime feeding study, massive health problems set in during and after the 13th month, including organ damage and cancer

    Companies like Monsanto and Syngenta rarely if ever allow independent researchers access to their patented seeds, citing the legal protection these seeds have under patent laws. Hence independent research is extremely difficult or nearly impossible to conduct. If these scientists get seeds from a farmer, they sue them into oblivion as one of their favorite tactics is to use the legal system to their advantage. Additionally, virtually all academic agricultural research is controlled by Monsanto as they are the primary supporters of these departments and none will risk losing their funding from them

    There is no safety monitoring. Meaning, once the GE item in question has been approved, not a single country on earth is actively monitoring and tracking reports of potential health effects

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Graham-Mitchell/585108000 Graham Mitchell

    As the largest farmer in the UK, the argument that ” we can’t find non-GM food for our chickens” simply does not wash. If you were seriously concerned about providing customers with unadulterated food you could grow your own chicken feed. As other commenters have noted, if you aren’t part of the solution you are part of the problem.

  • JMB

    How sad!
    Your point of difference from other large food retailers has now disappeared so there is no longer any reason for me to shop for my meat at your stores.

    Apparently a spokesperson for Brazilian soy producers say that their non-GM soy output has significantly increased and they are able to guarantee it’s source and supply. So, what’s the problem?

    Perhaps you have misunderstood that even in these tougher times large numbers of people are still willing to pay a premium to ensure they consume a higher quality product.

  • Snitch lomy

    Shame on you – totally disgusting of you and the FSA – there are no long term studies on health impact to humans – WE AND OUR CHILDREN ARE NOT LAB RATS HOW DARE YOU CLAIM THIS IS SAFE WITH NO EVIDENCE!

  • Snitch lomy

    Shame on you – no long term studies on the impact on human health exists – the E.U. do not force you to label it so you do not – shame on you. If you labelled it and allowed your customers make an intelligent informed choice you know they would chose to not purchase it – this is purely an economic issue -shame on you. Please remove the word ethical out of you adverts for your food chain as it is now negated completely – shame on you. Me nor mine will spend not a red cent in your stores because of this issue – shame on you Co-OP.

  • name

    lets hope people vote with there feet and not buy from them waitrose chicken only place left now :( and taste difference by sainsbury but other meats have be organic.

  • debs

    And will you at least give us the courtesy of labelling meat & eggs products that come from anilmals that are fed on gm poison???

  • ChampagneCharlemagne

    Feeding our livestock and thus ourselves with a cocktail of all kinds of dodgy gender bending chemicals and lord know what else. It sounds completely legit to me. What could possibly go wrong. I have no idea how these companies can stand there and say it poses no risk. That is a lie. They do not know.

  • Pauline Coombes

    I shop in Co Op because I thought you had some environmental principles! now I know better! Brazil grows enough non gmo soya to provide animal feed for the whole of Europe, there was a short supply problem earlier this year. Have you gone back to non GMO ? of course not, gmo poison is cheaper. I hope at least you will label your poison as such. When are retailers going to learn we do not want to eat it, we do not want the health problems of the USA (ours are bad enough). We do not like being lied to. Maybe Co Op would do better to become very environmentally sound, I think you would be surprised at how many people would then shop with you. As it is No thank you I will buy my meat milk cheese etc. elsewhere

  • Aled Long

    Read this:


    Then make up your mind whether you trust the GM food supply, the (partisan) regulators and consequentially the meat that is produced from this poison.

    We all know that politics is corrput in America, why are we importing their political decisions here in this country???

    Co-Op you should be ashamed of yourselves!…