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Australian Call Makes Sense

Grocery Marketers Association
Ph: (04) 473 9223 Fax: (04) 473 3004

MEDIA RELEASE

Australian Call Makes Sense

The statement today from the Australian Government that they would not support compulsory labelling of all genetically modified foods if it put Australian business at a competitive disadvantage, was a sensible one said Alwyn Riggs, spokesperson for the Grocery Marketers Association (GMA).

“The call from Australia is timely as it mirrors comments made by our Prime Minister and Finance Minister that they want to review policies that impose additional costs on business”.

“The GMA appreciates that many consumers require more information about the food they are eating but a labelling regime must also be practical and realistic if it is going to achieve its purpose. The GMA continues to support the current food standard A18 which requires food containing altered DNA or the introduction of a new protein or a change in its nutritional properties to be compulsorily labelled”.

“Industry is supportive of this provision because it is practical, realistic and consumers would be informed if the GM food is different from its conventional counterpart”, he said.

“The call to pull out of ANZFA makes no sense. New Zealand consumers have achieved major benefits from the harmonisation that ANZFA has promoted and will continue to do so in the future”.

Rather, said Mr Riggs, we would expect New Zealand not to take any precipitate action, particularly as the issue of food labelling is part of the terms of reference for the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Genetic Modification which is about to get underway in New Zealand.

ENDS


For further information contact:
Alwyn Riggs
Spokesperson GMA
(09) 443 4802

Date: 1 June 2000

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