Protest At Expected Genetic Engineering Decision
A protest is being held at Parliament today to protest decisions expected to come out of the ANZFA (Australia New Zealand Food Authority) Council meeting in Australia tomorrow.
The meeting is expected to make decisions on how genetically engineered foods will be labelled and which foods will be.
Health Minister Wyatt Creech will be at the meeting as well as Health Ministers from the Australian States.
Last week, in response to a parliamentary question, Creech confirmed the government’s position at the ANZFA meeting would be to support the exemption of refined sugars, starches and oils derived from engineered crops from labelling.
This means that most foods containing genetically engineered derivatives - mostly oils and sugars - will remain unlabelled.
Those who support this position say these ingredients are so processed and refined that even if they come from genetically engineered crops, they contain no engineered protein or DNA.
Opponents to this move say exempting refined ingredients from labelling will leave the majority of foods on our shelves with any genetically engineered components unlabelled.
The Green Party and The Alliance say this would offer the public none of the protection or guarantees they are requesting.
Jeanette Fitzsimons says the government is selling out the public with the option they will support. See…Govt. Set To Shaft Kiwis Over GE Food - Fitzsimons. Phillida Bunkle says the government is set to back-track on previous commitments. See… Government failed to rule out back-track on labelling, in the Parliament wire.
Both Fitzsimons and Bunkle say the government looks set to ignore thousands of submissions made on the issue of food labelling, and support a three tiered labelling system: Contains genetically engineered ingredients; Does not contain genetically engineered ingredients and May contain genetically engineered ingredients.
The last option of ‘May contain’ was widely rejected in submissions as it gives lazy food manufacturers the option of a neither confirm or deny policy which offers consumers no guarantees.
However Wyatt Creech said the ANZFA Council will meet to discuss practical, sensible and workable labelling proposals. See… Creech Off To Aussie For Big ANZFA Meeting in the Parliament wire.
Scoop will update you on the ANZFA meeting tomorrow, as soon as news comes to hand.