Wednesday, 13 July 2011

CBAN Clarifies Canada's Position on GM Food Labelling.

On July 11th, PLT reported that regulators from more than 100 countries had agreed on guidance on the labelling of GM foods. Read: "Consumer Rights Victory as US Ends Opposition to GM Labelling Guidelines"

I then asked Lucy Sharratt of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network to clarify what Canada's position is on this old and contentious issue. Here is her response.  (Emphasis mine.)
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Dear Larry,

Thank you for your question.

Canada allowed the Codex agreement to be finalized, after trying to stop it and/or sabotage it in various ways over the years.

So, officially Canada has agreed to the Codex labelling guidance which, according to the Codex press office: "World food standard body, the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius Commission has stated that governments are free to decide on whether and how to label foods derived from modern biotechnology, including foods containing genetically-modified organisms. The labelling should be done in conformity with the text approved by the Codex Commission, to avoid potential trade barrier. The decision, which will help inform consumers' choices regarding genetically-modified foodstuffs, was taken at the 34th Session of the Commission, held inGeneva from 4-9 July 2011.  More than 600 delegates from 145 of the 184 member countries, UN, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations attended."

As you know, however, the Canadian government does not support mandatory labelling in Canada.

The Codex guidance is not mandatory so no country is compelled to label.


Please let me know if you would like further information or clarity. Thanks, Best, Lucy

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