In March 2021 Ethical Consumer searched the Sainsbury's website for information on the company's GMO policy.
Its Sustainability Sugar Cane, Prawn, Floral and Tea Standards included the criteria, 'No GMO are to be used in line with the Sainsbury's GMO Policy'. However, the supermarket's GMO policy itself could not be found. Sainsbury's groceries website was found to sell KTC Vegetable Oil, which was produced from genetically modified soya.
Ethical Consumer noted that the company sold meat and dairy not labelled organic, therefore it was likely to be from animals fed a genetically modified diet. In June 2017 the British government website www.food.gov.uk stated that the EU animal feed industry imported 70% of its maize, soya and rapeseed requirements; that "almost all" of the soya from the major producers Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and the USA was genetically modified and that "much of" the maize imported from the USA was genetically modified.
Although the company appeared to ban GMO crops for its own-brand products, no policy could be found excluding the use of GMO animal feed. As it also sold products known to contain GMO soya, it lost half a mark in the Controversial Technologies category.
Sainsbury's corporate website (22 October 2019)