Ecover using GMOs to replace palm oil
Ethical leader Ecover has admited that that it's using ingredients derived from 'synthetically modified organisms' - the next wave of GMOs.
In an interview with the Ecologist published last week, the company, which produces environmental alternative household cleaners, said it was replacing palm oil with algal oil.
The algae oil is produced by biotech company Solazyme using what the Ecologist describe as "an experimental set of techniques called synthetic biology."
Dirk Develter, Ecover's head of research, confirmed in an interview with the Ecologist that the company will be using a synthetic biology oil from a Genetically Modified Organism (GMO).
Jim Thomas from the campaigning ETC Group said that "Synthetic biology (or SynBio) could be considered GMOs on steroids."
He added that "The implications of commercial synthetic biology are far more disruptive than first-generation GMOs."
He explains that "With the help of robotic genetic engineering setups, technicians can rapidly create thousands of new organisms at a time and pick through them to find the bug they want.
What they are looking for are genetic changes that turn bacteria, yeast and algae into tiny factories that will churn out high-value chemicals such as foods, fragrances, or in Ecover's case, detergent oils."
As early as 2012 the company made a statement about the use of genetically modified enzymes in its detergents.
The company website stated, "When Ecover started to use enzymes we were able to obtain them from manufacturers who guaranteed the GMO free production process... Over the years however our sources have either been acquired by larger companies or they have modified their production processes by which GMO has entered our world.
Today the enzymes themselves are generated from a micro organism that has undergone modification to increase its capacity to produce the enzyme."
Ecover are included in our special report on household cleaning products >
This story has been added to our corporate database. The database powers all our live product guides, giving the score for each company on our rankings tables. Find out more about how we rate companies.
Register on the site to receive our free monthly email newsletter and keep up-to-date with all our research and campaigning.
Ethical Consumer on Google+