Public right to know, public right to choose – labelling review must be made public

Press release - 2 December, 2010
Greenpeace looks forward to the long-awaited recommended changes to Food Labelling Law and Policy to be presented tomorrow to the Food Regulation Ministerial Council, and urge the Government to swiftly release the recommendations to the public.

"This review - which was an election promise way back in 2007 - has gone on for more than a year. Thousands of people have made submissions, and hundreds attended public consultations. More than 30,000 Australians signed the Greenpeace 'Right to Know' petition demanding proper labelling of food containing genetically modified (GM) materials and their right to choose," said Greenpeace Campaigner Claire Parfitt.

"Meanwhile, the S-26 Soy baby formula Greenpeace and Channel Seven recently revealed as contaminated with GM ingredients remains on the shelf with absolutely nothing to indicate to parents that the contents may contain GM genes that have never been tested on humans, let alone children."

The Review began in October 2009 and is charged with undertaking a comprehensive examination of food labelling law and policy. The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) will decide on changes to food labelling laws in Australia early in 2011.

"This is a matter of huge public interest. It is crucial the Government releases the panel's recommendations to the community as early as possible in order for real feedback and consultation to happen before it's presented to COAG next year as a fait accompli.

"Releasing it publicly once decisions are already made is an insult to the many thousands of people who gave input to the Review.

"Given the gaping loopholes in Australian labelling laws, we anticipate strong

recommendations from the Review panel for a far more rigorous testing and labelling framework for genetically modified ingredients.

"This would be in line with the more than 90% of Australians who expect genetically modified products to be labeled as such. As it stands, the vast majority of GM products - both imported and domestically produced - make it onto our supermarket shelves unlabelled," Ms Parfitt said.

VVPR info:

For more information, contact:
Keiller MacDuff 0429 033 411

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