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Codex Proposal Waters Down GE Labelling

06 May 2002

The Government must join with the European Union in vigorously opposing an international move to replace the use of the 'genetic engineering' in labelling with the words 'modern biotechnology', say the Greens.

Safe Food spokesperson Sue Kedgley said the move at the Codex meeting in Halifax is a blatant attempt to water down the term genetic engineering and replace it with a vague and confusing term, because of consumer opposition to eating genetically engineered food.

The proposal is part of a series of recommendations for the labelling of GE foods which will be considered at the Halifax meeting which starts tomorrow.

"Consumers will not accept weasel words from the Government on this issue," Ms Kedgley said. "We want a clear unequivocal commitment to oppose this move."

Ms Kedgley said the Green Party was equally concerned at proposals to make GE labelling voluntary unless the food contains known allergens.

"This is an outrageous proposal which would exempt almost all GE foods from a label," she said.

"The Codex move is part of an international move to weaken labelling laws to the point where they are meaningless. It is in total opposition to consumer demand for labelling of all foods derived from genetic engineering."

Ends

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