Risks of GE Food
Genetic engineering of the food we eat is an inherently risky process. Current understanding of genetics is extremely limited and scientists do not know the long-term effects of releasing these unpredictable organisms into the environment and people's diets.
Due to consumer pressure, supermarkets in many countries have cleared genetically engineered (GE) food from their shelves and global food companies have removed GE ingredients from their products. In addition, some leading pig and poultry producers have promised not to supply animals with GE feed.
Europe is leading the way in the fight against GE food; a huge mobilisation of European consumers and environmentalists has held genetically engineered organisms (also called GMOs or genetically modified organisms) at bay in Europe over the past eight years. In April 2004 it brought into force the world's toughest labelling regime.
Consumers should be protected from the dangers of GE food, not only in Europe but the whole world. However in many countries food manufacturers and corporations are failing or refusing to inform the public about the presence of genetically engineered ingredients in their products.
Consumers have the right to know and the right to choose: While labelling does not fully address the concerns of GE ingredients, it at least allows the consumer to make informed choices and decisions. Information about a product would enable and assist consumers who would want to take a precautionary approach in their food choices to do so. Moreover, failure to provide information is considered a breach of fair trade.