Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Choice At Risk From International Food Standards

6 May 2002

Consumer Choice At Risk From International Food Standards

“It is the consumer's right to choose to avoid food made using a particular process that is being denied. "Modern Biotechbology" is a generic term that obscures the process. It is like denying Jewish people to eat Kosher food, or Muslims to eat Halal." said Jon Carapiet of GE Free NZ.

"There is no "safety" aspect to labelling these, or even simple things like free range eggs. The market has decided there is a demand , but now Codex is trying to suppress consumer choice by preventing the clear labelling that people are demanding." said Jon.

Labelling GE foods the product of 'modern biotechnology' appears to be an attempt to modify consumer's opinions of genetic engineering and resultant food products. Consumer opinion worldwide is still demanding choice.

New Zealand's negotiating body at CODEX is MAF who recently stated they are part of the Quadrilateral group consisting of the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. The US, it has been stated is becoming increasingly isolated in international negotiations and facing increasing pressure from both the global North and South for precautionary measures regarding GMOs. Thirty-five nations, representing a billion people, are involved in setting mandatory labeling requirements for genetically engineered foods.

ENDS

Background information:-

Global Safety Rules for Biotech Foods Agreed

YOKOHAMA, Japan, March 12, 2002 (ENS) - All foods made using biotechnology should be subject to pre-marketing safety assessments, and nations should be free to use tracing systems as part of their risk management procedures for such products, a United Nations task force on foods derived from biotechnology has concluded.

A round of applause by the 226 participants greeted the agreement reached March 6 by the Codex Intergovernmental Task Force on Foods Derived from Biotechnology in Yokohama, Japan.

The group's draft principles on the risk analysis and management of biotech foods mark a step forward in the global management of genetically modified (GM) foods. The principles appear to vindicate, at least partially, the European Union's insistence on introducing a system to enable tracing GM foods.

The task force, which has been hosted by Japan since 2000, will go on developing guidelines for risk assessment of GM foods originating from microorganisms. It will continue its efforts until March 2003.

The final work of the task force will be submitted to the Codex Alimentarius Commission, at its next meeting in July 2003 in Rome, Italy, for adoption. The commission is a joint program of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization which sets standards in all areas of food production and regulation.

While these standards are technically voluntary, they generally gain some type of legal authority once they are adopted by the World Trade Organization and other international bodies, as well as national governments.

As agreed, the draft biotech food principles call for all foods to be safety assessed on a case-by-case basis, with "both intended and unintended effects" considered. "New or altered hazards" should be identified as should changes in key nutrients "relevant to human health," the principles state.

When foods are genetically engineered, genes from bacteria, viruses, other plants or animals are inserted into crops like corn, canola, soybeans, potatoes, tomatoes, squash, and papayas to achieve more favorable characteristics such as higher yield, faster ripening, pest control, or herbicide tolerance.

Genetically modified foods are a concern for people who have food allergies because they have not been tested or regulated, nor is there a requirement that they be labeled in most countries.

Nations should also be free to employ a range of risk management measures including post-market monitoring. Such monitoring may necessitate a GM food tracing system, which would also allow products to be withdrawn if negative effects on human health are identified, the task force agreed.

The Codex Alimentarius, or the food code, has become the most important global reference point for consumers, food producers and processors, national food control agencies and the international food trade. The code has had an impact on the thinking of food producers and processors as well as on the awareness of the consumers.

The FAO says the influence of the food code extends to every continent, and "its contribution to the protection of public health and fair practices in the food trade is immeasurable."

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election