Truefood Guide - Go green and GE free

By Tricia Brown
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Tamburlaine Wines, Hunter Valley, NSW

Tamburlaine Wines, Hunter Valley, NSW

Alcoholic drinks pocket edition of the Truefood Guide by Greenpeace
Alcoholic drinks pocket edition of the Truefood Guide by Greenpeace
Mitchelton Winery, Nagambie Lakes, Victoria
Award-winning beer from the Snowy Mountains Brewery

The Alcoholic Drinks Edition of the Truefood Guide launched in July 2009 in Sydney by Greenpeace has been welcomed by the majority of Australia's popular wine, beer and spirit makers.

The pocket-sized shopping guide, aimed at helping consumers to avoid buying genetically engineered alcoholic drinks, rates brands as Green (GE-free) and Red (may contain GE-derived ingredients).

Currently alcoholic drinks in Australia do not require labelling for ingredients derived from genetic engineering which is where the Truefood Guide comes in. Michelle Sheather, Greenpeace genetic engineering campaigner says, "Just like the food industry, Australia's wine and beer industries want to stay GE-free.

"State governments must do a better job of protecting these industries' right to stay GE-free, and ensure crops and harvests remain free of GE contamination. And the federal government must improve our food labelling laws. Without proper labelling laws, the True Food Guides are the only way to protect consumer choice and help shoppers choose GE-free brands."

Launching the guide, wine journalist Max Allen said, "Genetic engineering of grape vines and yeasts, currently being researched, is not the answer to the challenges facing Australia's wine industry. Ethical and environmental issues are becoming increasingly important for consumers, too, not less important, particularly in key markets such as the UK. The Australian wine industry would be taking a huge risk by choosing to adopt GM technology.  We just don’t need it. "

Spirits, liqueurs and pre-mix drinks are susceptible to GE contamination where imported corn and soy derivatives are used.  However some top distillers are adopting non-GE policies for their spirit brands, for example, Lion Nathan rates GE-free for Bacardi.

The majority of Australia's alcoholic brewers have also adopted non-GE policies, including Lion Nathan, Bluetongue and Encounter Bay, as well as top brands such as Guinness, Hahn, Heineken, Bondi Blonde, James Squire, and Toohey's. Foster's and Coopers are yet to come forward with non-GE policies.

The Winemaker’s Federation of Australia is also keen on maintaining its clean and green image with its strong policy to exclude GE from production of all Australian wines.

Leading winemakers such as De Bortoli Wines and Tyrrell’s Vineyards have adopted company policies to exclude GE-derived ingredients. Ross Brown, CEO of Brown Brothers says “Brown Brothers has a zero tolerance on this issue. There is so much tradition associated with wine, and GM would fly in the face of that.”

Mark Davidson, Managing Director/Winemaker for Tamburlaine Organic Wines in NSW agrees: “GM is not only unnatural and unstable, but unintelligent to boot. The future health of our species is being jeopardized by today’s GM experiments. Let’s hope it stays well away from the wine industry, which simply doesn’t need it.”

Some GE-free products listed in the guide include:

Green BEER - Bluetongue, Bondi Blonde, Budweiser, Carlsberg Beer, Guinness, Hahn, Heineken, James Boag's, Snowy Mountains, Stella Artois, Toohey's.

Green WINE - Brands Laira Coonawarra, Brown Brothers, Cockatoo Ridge, Cullen Wines, De Bortoli, Deen Vat, Emeri, Evans and Tate Margaret River, Everton - Brown Brothers, Grand Tokay Brown Brothers, Gulf Station, Harris Organic Wines, Hooley Dooley, Kalleske, Knappstein, Lillydale Estate, Lost Block, McWilliam's, Mallee Point, Mitchelton, Noble One, Patricia - Brown Brothers, Petaluma, Pfeiffer Wines, Sacred Hill, St Hallett, Stonier, Tamburlaine Wines, Tatachilla McLaren Vale, Toorak Wines, Tyrrell's, Tyrrell's OId Winery, Windy Peak, Windy Ridge, Yellowtail.


Greenpeace Press Release, October 2009 - On the 28th October leading brands Nestlé, Foster's, Schweppes and Lindt committed to keeping their food and drinks free from genetically engineered (GE) ingredients, it was announced at the 2010 Greenpeace Truefood Guide launch held at leading Sydney restaurant Longrain. The 2010 Guide launched by celebrated chefs Martin Boetz and Margaret Fulton and Clover Moore MP, Lord Mayor of Sydney, was part of the Sydney International Food Festival. "The 2010 Truefood Guide is the biggest guide ever, as the Australian food industry answers consumer calls for GE-free food," Greenpeace GE Campaigner Rochelle Porteous said. "It is the only comprehensive shopping guide that empowers Australians to avoid GE ingredients."


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September 04th, 2009
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