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Over 80% Support the Requirement to Label GM Foods

Over 80% Support the Requirement to Label GM Foods

Media Statement, 23 November 2011??

Over 80% of New Zealanders believe the current requirement to label genetically modified foods should be retained, according to a Consumer Link poll. Just 10% believe the regulations should not be retained, while 83% believe they should be.

The poll, commissioned by the Sustainability Council, was conducted from November 8th to 14th across a sample of 500 and has a margin of error of 3.3%.

New Zealand’s current law generally requires the labelling of food products that have more than 1% GM content. The US government considers these requirements a trade barrier and it is clear that it would like to see their effective removal as part of the proposed free trade deal – the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

When MFAT’s chief TPP negotiator was asked last year what were “the top local impediments” to concluding a TPP agreement, the nation’s GMO regulations and Monsanto’s unhappiness with these was the first item cited, according to a US embassy cable disclosed by Wikileaks.

The Sustainability Council believes it is important that political parties declare their position on this issue before election day. In particular:

• Whether the party would make preservation of the current GM labelling requirements a bottom line for the TPP negotiations; and

• Whether it would rule out supporting any weakening of these requirements in the next term of government.

Poll Detail

Question: “In New Zealand, food products you buy must generally state on the label if they contain genetically modified ingredients. Should the requirement to label genetically modified foods be retained?

Results: Yes 83.04%
No 10.35%
Don’t know 6.60%

A Sustainability Council briefing on GM labelling and the TPP can be found at: www.sustainabilitynz.org


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