Modified soya under attack

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British consumer groups and supermarkets added their voices to a growing European row over the lack of identification of American genetically modified soya beans, which will soon be incorporated into hundreds of foods, such as bread, margarine and chocolate. The first shipments - mixed irretrievably with normal soya beans - arrived by ship from the US in Germany and the Netherlands last week.

The Consumers' Association called on the Government to force producers to label items which could contain the altered soya beans. Sainsbury and Asda said that they were working with suppliers to provide alternative sources of unmodified beans.

The frozen food chain Iceland told Greenpeace that it felt that Monsanto, which developed the "Roundup Ready" bean to be resistant to one of its herbicides, had been "irresponsible". Charles Arthur