18 March 1999
Fast food outlets must declare GM content

MINISTERS are preparing a ruling which means fast-food restaurants will have to tell customers in future if their takeaway meals contain GM products.

Companies will be liable to fines of up to £5000 if they fail to declare GM ingredients, according to a government announcement.

Meanwhile, experts are searching for ways to monitor the impact of GM food on the populations health, MPs were told yesterday.

An initial plan to use data from supermarket loyalty cards as a surveillance tool has been abandoned.

Other potential methods are now being explored, said Professor Janet Bainbridge, chairman of the governments Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes.

Meanwhile, The Independent carries a denial by Jack Cunningham, the cabinet office minister, that the government has reached a “secret deals” with firms involved in GM food.

Against this level of general scepticism on GM, the Financial Times looks at America which is seeing a rapid application of the technology.

The rush to GM foods has not been without its problems in the US, however.

Among these are legal concerns over patents as well as the more familiar fear about the impact of GM crops on the environment.