Cautious welcome to GM labelling

3 October 1997

Cautious welcome to GM labelling

INDUSTRY has given a guarded welcome to the adoption of EU commission food laws which will force all genetically modified maize and soya, or products derived from them, to be labelled.

From Nov 1, GM maize and soya will have to be labelled in line with other "novel foods", which have been subjected to the restrictions since May 1.

Mike Gasson, head of the genetics and microbiology department at the Institute of Food Research, said it was clear that consumers wanted labelling. But, in the long term, Dr Gasson said it would be illogical for GM products which proved to be nature identical, such as soya, to be labelled.

Ray Matthias, head of science, communication and education at the John Innes Centre, said labelling of GM products had been consumer driven but he was concerned that labelling without information was unhelpful.

Dr Matthias said more than half of consumers had still to make up their mind over gentically modified products, due in part to lack of information from government, scientists and biotechnology companies.

&#8226 Farm minister Jack Cunningham told the Labour party conference that new domestic legislation on GM products would be announced shortly.n

See more