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No need for haste on food labelling

The Government should resist calls for unilateral implementation of a mandatory labelling regime on food products containing genetically engineered ingredients the Chairman of the New Zealand Life Sciences Network (Inc), Dr William Rolleston, said today.

“While it is clear consumers want more information about food ingredients it is far from clear they are prepared to pay significant increases in their weekly shopping bill to get the information.

“There is a lot of work still to be done to establish whether labelling should be voluntary or mandatory; what level of detail is appropriate, whether a certification regime is necessary and who should bear the cost.

“We are on the eve of the most thorough-going examination, in the world, of the issues surrounding gene technology. The Royal Commission of Inquiry into Genetic Modification provides a highly appropriate forum for the issues about labelling of food containing GE ingredients to be discussed. The Network suggests we delay making any final decisions until the Government has had an opportunity to consider the report and recommendations of the Royal Commission,” concluded Dr Rolleston.

ends

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