Blog: Co-op goes GM-free – what do the people say?

Catherine Sleep | 22 October 2003

Following yesterday’s news that UK supermarket operator Co-op is to impose a ban on genetically modified ingredients right across its business, a lively message board kicked off on the Guardian website. It’s a great opportunity to see what Joe Public makes of it – although bear in mind that the participants are assumedly ‘Guardian Readers,’ one of Britain’s favourite stereotypes (that is, liberal, touchy-feely, intellectual and left-leaning, for our foreign friends out there).

One of my favourite comments argues that the Co-op took a commercial decision, no more, no less. “If they don't think they can sell it then it makes sense for them not to grow it. It's not so much a ban as simply not stocking it. Calling it a ban is like accusing Costa Coffee of banning lobster.”

Another debater raised the validity of surveys. It’s oh so easy to say, “I don’t like GM” when asked the question, on paper. This is not a normal shopping situation, where moral, ethical and environmental issues are more likely to be ignored in favour of price, convenience and getting through the till and back home as quickly as possible.

Guardian readers debate Co-op move


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