GMO COMPASS - Information on genetically modified organisms
  Nov 27, 2014 | 12:39 pm
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Labelling of GMO Products:

Freedom of Choice for Consumers


GMO labelling was introduced to give consumers the freedom to choose between GMOs and conventional products. Essentially, if a foodstuff is produced using genetic engineering, this must be indicated on its label.

Actual labelling practice, however, is far more complicated - and must be planned and regulated with issues such as feasibility, legal responsibilities, coherence and standardisation in mind.

Exactly what must be labelled - and how it is to be labelled, and why - is explained in the following.
 

Labelling Guide

A basic principle applies to most food products: if genetically modified plants or microorganisms have been used in production, this must be clearly indicated.
Labelling: yes
 

However, under certain conditions, numerous products are exempt from labelling obligations. These exemptions primarily concern additives and processing aids, but also apply to meat, milk and eggs.
Labelling: no
 

The status of flavours, additives and enzymes in regard to labelling obligations is complex. The use of genetic engineering is common, but there is no general labelling practice.
Labelling: flavours, additives and enzymes
 

What it looks like: when the need for GMO labelling has been determined for a product, the wording and placing of this labelling is specified by very precise regulations.
Labelling: how?
 

Labelling is also required for foods which are offered by restaurants, canteens and takeaways - although there are exceptions.
Restaurants and canteens
 

Organic Products: Without genetic engineering

By law, the use of genetical engineering is prohibited for products defined as 'organic'. Nevertheless, these products are permitted in certain cases to contain slight traces of genetically modified organisms.
Labelling: Organic products without genetic engineering
 

Labelled goods hard to find

New, strict labelling regulations took effect in April 2004. Many people expected that they would soon find products with GMO labels in grocery stores. With the notable exception of the Netherlands, GMO labelled products never really appeared.
continue
 

GMO labelling in the European Union: Basic Principles

All food, and any ingredients, directly produced from a GMO must be labelled, even if this GMO is undetectable in the final product.
Labelling requirements: for neutral information only - not for warning

 

Labelling empowers the buyer. In order to choose between products with or without genetically modified organisms, consumers need transparent, controllable and straightforward labelling regulations. However, the extent and breadth of these regulations are decided politically.
Thresholds and freedom of choice
 

Short and sweet: What you want to know about labelling

Questions about labelling?
We’ve got the answers.
 

Detection methods: Needing to draw a blurry line

Detection methods for specific GMOs have improved in recent years - but, unlike most chemical measurements, may vary in reliability, precision and accuracy.
continue
 

 


An EU Research Project

What are the risks of growing GM crops?

What are the benefits?

Numerous studies have addressed the potential impacts of genetically modified (GM) plants. Yet the existing evidence on the effects of GM plants is often contradictory and the quality of scientific research varies widely.

Therefore, the GRACE project will establish new tools for assessing the quality of existing studies and will conduct comprehensive reviews to identify health, environmental and socio-economic impacts of GM plants.

More information

 Fruits and Vegetables: No GMOs
Tomatoes
Bananas
Papayas
Apples
Grapes
Chicory
January 25, 2007 [nach oben springen]

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