Greenpeace Exposes Unregulated GE Snacks Joint Social Forces Demand for Mandatory GE Labelling

Press release - 2008-07-06
Greenpeace finds again snacks containing genetically modified ingredients, which shows the government's delaying policy to implement mandatory GE labelling is undermining Hong Kong consumers' right to know.

Greenpeace finds again snacks containing genetically modified ingredients, which shows the government’s delaying policy to implement mandatory GE labelling is undermining Hong Kong consumers” right to know.

Greenpeace issues a joint statement with 35 concerning groups and individuals urging the government to admit the failure of the present voluntary labelling system. The alliance demands the authority to declare and replace the failed one with a mandatory system of binding forces and a clear timetable in the Legislative Council's Panel on Food Safety and Environmental Hygiene on 8th July (Tuesday).

After exposing GE tofu products with inconsistent labelling in the market in February, Greenpeace discovers again that among 8 popular snack product samples, 3 contain GE maize ingredients (Table 1), all without labelling such ingredients.

Greenpeace Food Safety Campaigner Chow Yuen Ping condemns the failure of the voluntary labelling system, "Test results shows again consumer right in Hong Kong is undermined. Only by enforcing a mandatory labelling system can give consumers the real choices".

The government will announce results of review on implementing the voluntary labelling system as well as suggesting the next step to regulate GE food in the market in the Legislative Council's Panel on Food Safety and Environmental Hygiene next Tuesday, which has however been delayed for a year.

Greenpeace together with 35 concerning groups and individuals jointly press the government to implement a strict and binding mandatory labelling on GE food. The alliance comprises representatives from environmental groups, medical associations, consumer unions, religious groups, political parties and Legislative Council members.

Chow says the government should not be as feeble as in implementing the nutrition labelling earlier, which clearly shows its impotence in front of the business sector. She adds, "The government must stand together with the public in fighting for an obligatory GE food labels and safeguard consumers" right to know."

Currently there are already 54 countries adopting mandatory labelling systems for GE foods, including nearby Asian countries and regions such as China, Taiwan, Japan, Thailand and the Philippines. Public consultation has been carried out since 2001 but the government delayed putting into force a mandatory labelling system, which harms consumers' right to choose and allow GE food to enter the market without restrictions.

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