24/11/2011

NZ Must Support US Consumers on GM Labelling

 

New Zealand should be backing US Consumers at The TPPA negotiations, by demanding labelling of GM foods be extended to America, not withdrawn from countries that have it.

US consumers are currently suing their own government for the labelling of GM food (1), and there is public support for labelling of GM foods across the whole Pacific region.

New Zealand's trade representatives should take a principled and scientifically justified stance that all countries in the TPPA should allow testing, tracing and labelling of GM foods, and have the right to exclude them on cultural, ethical or economic grounds.

“Testing, traceability, and labelling is in the interest of food safety globally," says Jon Carapiet from GE-free NZ in food and environment. “It is also a cultural right based on values shared by communities across the trade zone. New Zealand has a responsibility to defend that.”

The recent EU discovery of contamination in rice is further evidence of the risk to public health and the importance of monitoring and labelling for effective product recall.(2)

New Zealand's exports of clean, green, GE-free and organic produce are what consumers are demanding but are directly threatened by any deal that weakens bio-security or our gold-standard zero-contamination threshold for GM in imported seed.

References:
USA consumer campaign for labelling
http://justlabelit.org/
GMOs: EU controls on Chinese rice products, Tuesday 15 November 2011 http://www.europolitics.info/external-policies/gmos-eu-controls-on-chinese-rice-products-art318274-44.html

http://www.sustainabilitynz.org/docs/RightToChooseGMFreeFoodandtheTPP_Nov2011.PDF

ENDS
Jon Carapiet

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