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New Labelling Requirements For GM Foods

New Labelling Requirements For GM Foods To Take Effect In 12 Months


Mandatory labelling of genetically modified foods, where introduced DNA or protein is present in the final food, will come into force 12 months from today, says Health Minister Annette King.

The Australia New Zealand Food Authority made the announcement today following the gazettal of amendments to Standard A18 of the Food Standards Code – Food produced using gene technology.

Agreement between New Zealand and Australian federal and state health ministers to label all genetically modified foods was made at a meeting in July.

Mrs King said the amended standard was a response to consumer concerns about genetically modified foods and their desire for more information.

"Under the amended standard, food or ingredients labelled 'genetically modified' either contains new genetic material or protein as a result of the genetic modification or has altered characteristics – such as changed nutritional values," said Mrs King

Also, under the new labelling standard, unpackaged GM food, such as fruit and vegetables, must carry a statement identifying the food as genetically modified.

The amended standard can be viewed on the ANZFA website at www.anzfa.gov.au or www.anzfa.govt.nz as Standard A18 of the Food Standards Code.

A Compliance Guide to assist businesses in complying with the new labelling requirements in the amended standard is also available from the ANZFA website. This Guide is out for public consultation, with comments sought by early February.

The standard is to be reviewed three years from gazettal.


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