from Peter Melchett, policy director, Soil Association

Sir; Reports of the death of GM food may be slightly premature, despite Bayer’s welcome announcement that it won’t be trying to get any GM maize grown in the UK in the foreseeable future.

It’s not just in the UK that the GM tide is being reversed. In Australia, four different states have introduced a moratorium on GM crops - all in the last week. More significantly for the food industry, the market is responding to demand for GM-free product.

Canadian farmers lost $300m of annual exports of oilseed rape to Europe because of GM contamination. Now Canada is trying to increase its exports of soya in the face of widespread contamination of US soya and suggestions that Brazil may lose its relatively GM-free status.  

Canadian exporters can offer organic and non-organic soya guaranteeing no GM down to the effective zero of 0.1%.  

There really is no excuse for other supermarkets and food manufacturers not to follow the lead of M&S and the Co-op in taking steps to eliminate GM ingredients from all animal feed.

And the whole food industry should be uniting behind the simple proposition that all seeds are kept as free of GM as is technically possible.

Otherwise the job of us keeping GM out of the rest of the food chain becomes that much more difficult.