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Greens Call For Stricter GE Labelling Laws

05 July 2002

Greens Call For Stricter GE Labelling Laws After EU Decision

New Zealand must follow Europe and introduce a much stricter GE labelling regime which requires the full labelling and traceability of all GE foods and ingredients, Green Party Safe Food Spokesperson Sue Kedgley said today.

The European Parliament voted on Wednesday for a comprehensive new labelling regime which would disclose any ingredient that was genetically modified. The new rules, which need to be agreed by EU environment ministers, will trace food from 'farm to fork' and mean that any food containing GE ingredients will be labelled.

"The Minister of Health Annette King has defended our woefully inadequate labelling system, which only requires a tiny proportion of GE ingredients to be labelled, as being in line with the European Union. The new EU decision means we are being left way behind one of our key trading partners.

"The comprehensive new EU labelling regime offers huge advantages to a GE-Free New Zealand, as our GE-Free food would have a major marketing advantage under their strict labelling and traceability regime.

"The Government has always claimed that a labelling regime based on traceability is unworkable. This decision shows not only is it workable, our exports are going to have to comply with it," she said.

In comparison, New Zealand's labelling regime has major loopholes including for takeaway food, and highly processed ingredients such as sugar and oils and does not allow consumers the ability to avoid GE foods if they choose.

Ends

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