Monsanto's heavy-handed introduction of unlabelled genetically modified ingredients into our general food supply has upset many people. Food Magazine reader Mrs. X(name withheld) of the Isle of Wight has sent Monsanto a furious letter - and a bill for repayment of the money which their actions have cost her.
Genetically modified soya beans made up two per cent of the US crop last year, but a massive 15 per cent this year. The company responsible for developing and marketing these beans, Monsanto, have insisted that it is impossible to separate the modified from the regular bean, and that consumers will not therefore be able to avoid eating their modified beans. Soya oil, and soya flour are used in a wide range of products, and soya lecithin and other derivatives in a large number more.
For Mrs. X, the cost of researching a range of acceptable products, the cost of making her own bread and other foods and the time she spends travelling to suitable shops (she lives on the Isle of Wight) are making a huge hole in her purse.
Mr. Pierre Hochuli,
Chairman, Monsanto Europe SA,
Avenue de Tervuren 270-272,
I am enclosing an account for your personal attention, the showing the immense trouble, inconvenience and expense in terms of time and money, that is being inflicted on unwilling people like myself by Monsanto's unwelcome inclusion of GMOs in the world's food supply.
My monthly shopping bill has increased two and a half times due to Monsanto's unsolicited meddling with my food, and I seek compensation not only for the extra expense, but also, at modest rates, for my time employed in preparing foods by hand from carefully selected raw ingredients, as well as other demands on my time detailed in the enclosed list.
It is totally wrong for a massive organisation such as yours to force these genetically manipulated foods onto the general public in such a way that it is extremely difficult, if not vitually impossible, to avoid them.
I object most vehemently to this tampering with my food, and I certainly intend to make every attempt to avoid any product containing GMOs, at the same time complaining to every supplier, manufacturer, supermarket, etc possible. I will assist in all campaigns in every possible way against inclusion of GMOs. The general public may well be complacent at the moment, but as they become more well informed, as they will do, then the companies to whom Monsanto off load these doubtful products will feel their resistance and will cease to accept them.
There are no benefits for the consumer by the inclusion of GMOs, only greater profits for Monsanto.
I insist on full recompense for the trouble and expense your company is causing me, and expect to hear from you without delay, together with your company's cheque for £6,418.82.
Extra shopping costs: per month 1st year Replacing bakery items with ingredients for home-made bread, cakes etc £27.22 Purchasing organic soya milk instead of regular £3.40 Using organic soya oil for cooking £10.00 Substituting primary protein foods in place of processed foods £41.20 Replacing breakfast cereals with organic oats £4.04 ___________________ £85.86 £1,030.32 Additional costs: Fuel for extra cooking £30.00 Water for extra cooking, washing up £10.00 Time spent cooking etc, 2 hrs/day @ £5 £300.00 Travelling to find ingredients needed (from Isle of Wight) £20.00 Time spent travelling and shopping £40.00 Time spent reading ingredients lists £10.00 ___________________ £410.00 £4,920.00 Ancillary costs: Time spent enquiring which companies can guarantee GMO soya free products @ £10/hr £100.00 Postage and telephone £60.00 Time spent writing to MPs to urge better labelling £20.00 Time spent on checking nutritional information to ensure a balanced diet free of GMO soya £20.00 Time spent researching Monsanto products to maintain boycott £100.00 Purchase of cookery books and subscription to the Food Magazine £118.50 Time spent preparing this invoice £50.00 ___________________ TOTAL £6,418.82
M Pierre Hochuli, Chairman,
Monsanto Europe SA,
Avenue de Tervuren 270-272,
Dear M Hochuli,
The introduction of genetically modified soya beans is costing me extra time and effort and money. If I wish to avoid your beans I now have to read all labels, find substitute products, avoid restaurants and fast food stores, make my own bread and look for sources of food that are guaranteed free of GMOs. I estimate this is costing me up to £500 per month.
The cost of comprehensive segregation and full labelling should be born by those who want GMO foods. Your company is responsible, and I expect you to refund my costs.
I attach my bill.
Send copies to the Food Commission and your MP and MEP.
Food Commission Campaigns, 3rd Floor, 5-11,Worship Street, London. EC2A 2BH
Tel: 0171 628 7774 - Fax: 0171 628 0817
DON'T GET ANXIOUS, GET ANGRY! THEN GET ACTIVE!
Dear Customer Services Manager,
Please make sure that the cost of segregating and labelling genetically modified soyabeans is born by those people who want the beans.
Those of us who don't want GMO products fear the extra costs will be put on the price of regular beans. Please may I have your reassurance that this will not happen for your products?
Also, can you confirm that your company is insured for liability if any of GMO products prove to be harmful?
ASDA, ASDA House, Southbank, Great Wilson Street, Leeds. LS11 5AD
CWS, PO Box 53, New Century House, Corporation Street, Manchester. M60 4ES
Marks & Spencer, Michael House, 37-67,Baker Street, London. W1A 1DN
Safeway, 6,Millington Road, Hayes, Middlesex. UB3 4AY
J Sainsbury, Stamford House, Stamford Street, London. SE1 9LL
Somerfield, Somerfield House, Hawkfield Business Park, Whitchurch Lane, Bristol. BS14 0TJ
Tesco, Tesco House, PO Box 18, Delamare Road, Cheshunt, Herts. EN8 9SL
Waitrose, Doncastle Road, Southern Industrial Area, Bracknell, Berks. RG12 8YA