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Grocery Marketers Association welcomes Decision


28 July 2000

The Grocery Marketers Association today welcomed the decision of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Council to introduce a new labelling regime in respect of GM foods that is practical, meaningful to consumers and will minimise associated extra costs..

The Executive Director of the Association, Brenda Cutress said the agreed regime is: “Practical, enforceable, founded on sound science and is internationally defendable.

“It avoids the very substantial costs that an all embracing labelling regime would incur and in view of the similarities with the European Union regulations will help our trading relationships within the World Trade Organisation.

“There are points that will need to be talked through with the United States administration but differences with other countries are minimised under the regime that has been adopted.

“The fact that all products containing DNA or protein that result from a genetic modification or those which have been altered in such a way that the product contains material known to provoke allergic reactions in some people, will be labelled, is helpful and meaningful to consumers.

“We can see no logical or sensible reason why products with genetically modified sourced ingredients encompassing processing aids, additives, highly refined foods like sugar, starches, and oils, but which contain no GM derived protein or DNA, that are equivalent to a non-GM food should be labelled.

“Such labelling would imply a difference where none exists, potentially imply that the GM ingredient is unsafe and unfairly singles out packaged foods from foods eaten away from home. It would also impose more onerous compliance provisions than apply anywhere else in the world.

“We are not in a position to estimate at this stage what the cost of the new labelling regime will be. However, we believe that the earlier estimates of five to ten percent food price increase related to the former proposed labelling regime will need to be revised.

“The Association will continue to work with the regulatory authorities to ensure the new labelling regime takes effect as soon as possible”. – ends

Brenda Cutress Bruce Kohn
(04) 473 9223 (04) 386 2793
021 620 449 025 247 7748

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