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FSANZ fails on GM labelling

The Australian Greens today expressed concern at the ability of Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to protect public health and safety, following the Eating in the Dark report released by Greenpeace Australia.

"This report shows the inherent problems with labelling of Genetically Modified (GM) products in Australia and New Zealand and our failure to adequately assess the safety of GM products. Consumers are still demanding the right to know what is in the food they are eating, and our highest food safety authority is failing to deliver," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"The community expect leadership from our Government -- yet it became clear in Senate Estimates yesterday that neither the Government nor FSANZ see any need to address this serious issue. FSANZ relies entirely on industry-based information to make their safety assessments, and does no assessment of any harm caused by a GM product once it has been released."

"Currently, labels only have to declare the presence of GM materials, but not if genetic engineering was used in the process used to create the product. Highly refined sugars and oils derived from GM plants are not labelled, even though they may still have an allergic or reactive impact. With 90% of consumers calling for full labelling of all products, including GM information, it is appalling that FSANZ has not instigated a full labelling system like that of the European Unions."

"I think Australia has a long way to go in our safety assessments of GM foods. We need an independent review of the safety assessment regime for GM products in food, and we need all foods derived from GM crops to be adequately labelled," she concluded.

For more information or media enquiries please call Tim Norton on 0418 401 180

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