USE OF “FRANKENFOOD”
WASHINGTON, March 23, 2000 – Today Greenpeace activists went after Kellogg’s Tony the Tiger for helping market genetically engineered “FrankenFoods” to U.S. children. Greenpeace activists climbed the towering facade of Kellogg’s Cereal City to unfurl a huge banner reading, “Kellogg’s: Stop Feeding FrankenFood to America’s Kids.” An additional message was hung by Tony the Tiger’s mouth, which has him saying, “They’re Gr-ross!”
Greenpeace climbers draped the banners at the children’s exhibit hall located adjacent to Kellogg’s headquarters. The activists were joined on the ground by FrankenTony the Tiger, Greenpeace’s genetically modified version of the Kellogg’s mascot.
Earlier this week, Greenpeace joined over 50 other organizations in a petition to the Food and Drug Administration calling on the agency to remove genetically engineered (GE) foods from the market because it failed to require safety testing or labeling. Kellogg’s tells American consumers that GE food “poses no safety hazard to consumers,” yet the company promises its European customers that the cereals sold to them are free of genetically modified organisms (GMO).
“A breakfast of Kellogg’s cereals is a breakfast of untested GMOs,” said Greenpeace genetic en-gineering specialist, Charles Margulis. Margulis led FrankenTony into the corporate headquarters where they left for Kellogg CEO, Carlos Guittierez, a copy of the FDA petition and two boxes of his company’s cereals from Europe with labels reading, “GMO-free in Europe, why not here?” “Kids shouldn’t be duped by Tony the Tiger into starting each day with a science experiment in every bowl. Kellogg’s must stop feeding FrankenFood to America’s kids.”
A Caravan opinion research poll commissioned by Greenpeace last fall found that only 30 per-cent of Americans believed that Kellogg’s would use GMOs in its products. The poll also found that just 31 percent of Americans said they would buy foods from companies who promise non-GMO food to Europeans but do not make the same promise to Americans. Other polls have found that the overwhelming majority of Americans want labels on GMO food and that most would avoid eating biotech food if it were labeled.
Kellogg’s has defended its use of GMOs in the U.S. saying that Americans are not concerned about engineered food. Yet Americans’ concerns were well represented last December when over 1,000 people protested outside the FDA’s Oakland, California, hearing on biotech food. In February, Senate legislation calling for mandatory labeling of GE food was introduced, following a similar proposal last fall in the House. Nearly 50 Members of Congress have urged the FDA to “reverse its course of action and institute requirements for the labeling of all genetically engi-neered and modified foodsŠ.”
“Americans are waking up to Kellogg’s secret ingredient in their family’s cereals-genetically modified organisms,” added Margulis. “And as they learn more, they will begin demanding that Kellogg’s stop force-feeding their children these untested ingredients. Europe’s children kids are safe from this stuff, why aren’t America’s kids?”