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Waitrose sees Facebook backlash for selling broccoli linked to biotech company Monsanto


By The Drum Team, Editorial

February 10, 2012 | 2 min read

Supermarket chain Waitrose is facing a backlash on Facebook for stocking Bellaverde sweet stem broccoli, created by biotech company Monsanto’s subsidiary, Seminis.

While the Bellaverde broccoli is not genetically modified, many have complained through social media about the supermarket’s decision to sell a product linked to Monsanto, which is involved in developing GM crops.

One comment left on the Facebook page was: “You sell Bellaverde broccoli and/or Dulce Verde lettuce. These come from Monsanto’s vegetable company, Seminis. Monsanto is the world’s largest GMO company in the world. I do not agree with GMO or the criminal actions of Monsanto, and therefore am requesting that you refuse to stock these products as of today. Please let me know your decision.”

Another was: “Unless you are willing to cut all ties with the makers of Agent Orange I am unwilling to continue giving my money to Waitrose when your ethics as a Co-op are now called into question. Drop the human rights abuser before a large portion of your customer base drop you!”

Waitrose has said in reply: “Thank you all for your comments about Bellaverde sweet stem broccoli. As we stated yesterday, this broccoli is grown from conventionally bred seed sold by Seminis, who supply numerous growers, both large and small, in this country and around the world. While Seminis is a subsidiary of Monsanto, it uses traditional plant-breeding techniques. This is entirely in keeping with our policy of not allowing any GM ingredients in our own-label food. Conventionally-bred Bellaverde sweet stem broccoli offers excellent growing qualities to our farmers and superb flavour and value for our customers.

“We completely understand the strength of your views and do value all customer feedback. We will be passing all comments to our buying team.”

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