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Consumers should read up on GM food Brown

08 February 1999
Consumers should read up on GM food — Brown

SCEPTICAL consumers should read up on the scientific arguments behind genetically modified food before questioning its safety, agriculture minister Nick Brown said today …more…
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Consumers should read up on GM food Brown

08 February 1999
Consumers should read up on GM food — Brown

By FWi staff

SCEPTICAL consumers should read up on the scientific arguments behind genetically modified food before questioning its safety, agriculture minister Nick Brown said today (Monday).

Mr Brown said he fully accepted the scientific case for the safety of genetically modified (GM) foods, although he recognised many consumers didnt share his views.

But shoppers should realise GM food is safe and sold only after undergoing rigorous testing procedures, he told reporters at the International Food and Drink Exhibition.

“If the public are still worried then they should read up on it and consider the scientific case behind it,” he said.

For those who still wanted GM-free food, Mr Brown said his recent pledge to introduce stringent labelling laws would apply to food sold by all retail outlets.

Even those ordering pizzas over the telephone would have the right to know whether the food they were buying contained GM ingredients, he said.

“If the consumer asks, there will be an obligation for the seller to say.”

Mr Brown currently favours labelling which would indicate the proportion of GM ingredients in a foodstuff.

Existing small-print labels which indicate that a product may contain GM ingredients are inadequate, he said.

“I have said repeatedly that I am strongly in favour of clear labelling,” he concluded.

The government is expected to make an announcement on labelling within the next few months.

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