Analysis: This was one proof of how environmental groups apply pressure on exporters through large UK companies. They cite that if another supermarket chain, Sainsbury's, can do it (that is, sell apples sourced from Britain), then Tesco should be able to do it. Tesco denied the claim and promised in 2003 that it would not import apples from August through February from any Southern Hemisphere country, notably New Zealand, Chile, and South Africa.
An article in the Wall Street Journal mentions the case of Haagen-Dazs chocolate-covered ice-cream bar. The label does not mention any genetically modified ingredients listed there, but consumers who question the company about it are sent a letter stating that the bar's chocolate coatings, in fact, contain soya oil that "may have been derived from genetically modified soya, but it is identical to any other soya oil and therefore does not contain any genetically modified material." The letter adds, "We are, however, investigating whether there are suitable alternative oils."
In another case, AstraZeneca was forced to take off the market a bioengineered tomato puree. Despite outselling other popular and more expensive brands, the genetically modified food controversy affected its sales negatively until the company, AstraZeneca, had to pull out the product from the supermarket chain J. Sainsbury PLC.
Analysis: This case illustrates the paranoia in the UK about genetically-modified foods, even though there's no proof that bioengineered foods pose any health risks. As Haagen-Dazs did, the best way to address the problem is to be forthright in admitting the scientific fact that genetically modified soya is identical to any other soya. It can be funny, but it's true, that there is not much difference, scientifically, between soya that is modified through naturally occuring genetics and one that is genetically modified in the laboratory. In the case of the tomato puree, a successful product, despite being labeled genetically engineered and proven to be a good one, suffered. This could have been avoided if the company came up with a more forthright communication plan to show that genetically modified tomato puree was, as Haagen-Dazs did with soya, better than any other tomato puree.
Stecklow, S. (1999). Attempt at Clarity in Food Labeling Prompts Much Confusion in the U.K. October 26, 1999. Wall Street Journal. New York. [online] Available from: http://www.junkscience.com/oct99/stecklow.htm [November 24, 2005]
Case 3: Terrorist threat to foreign companies and Knowing the Best Location for your office
John Smith, head of group security at Prudential, an American financial institution, underlines the potential risks companies face in the United Kingdom. A veteran of anti-terrorist activities against the Irish Republican Army, Smith suggested that it would be prudent to "plan on the timescales and geographic impact of a disaster like