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Baby food: genmaterial at Hipp and Demeter

Germany - Organic baby food may contain vegetables containing so-called CMS-hybrids. Testers have found these in baby food of the German producer Hipp and of the international organic hallmark Demeter. However, both producers guarantee that these vegetables are not being used by them.

Demeter and Hipp advertise that only organically grown products are used in their baby food. Recently testers. however, found genetically modified vegetables in the products of both producers. This concerns the Demeter-Holle baby food "broccoli with wholemeal rice' and Hipp baby food, as shown on ZDF-consumer programme 'Wiso' by means of spot checks. The program had 37 samples of the organic baby food of the hallmark Hipp, Demeter, Alnatura and Bioland tested. The samples of Alnatura and Bioland tested negative. However, in all Demeter samples and in about a quarter of the Hipp samples genetically changed vegetables could be established.

Demeter chairman of the board, Alexander Gerber, declared that they had reacted to the test results by instituting further research. If the tested baby food does not contain broccoli which satisfies the Demeter standards, "It will be taken off the market," says Gerber.
The company Hipp also mentioned that the test results would be investigated in order to guarantee that in future 'no traces' will be found of genetically modified vegetables. "We will pay more attention to the investigations," states director Johannes Doms. At Hipp only varieties of vegetables may be used which have not been genetically modified.

So-called CMS-hybrids were found in the vegetables. CMS is the abbreviation of Cytoplasmatic Male Sterility. This technique, in which cells fuse together, causes plants to not pollinate themselves. Instead the harvest yield increases. The technique is mainly used with cauliflower and broccoli.


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