GMO COMPASS - Information on genetically modified organisms
  Jul 26, 2014 | 7:12 pm
Site Search
Searches all of GMO-Compass in an instant
The setting-up of this website was financially supported by the European Union within the European Commission’s Sixth Framework Programme from 1 January 2005 until 28 February 2007.

The European Commission and other EU agencies are not responsible for the content.
See what’s what.
The GMO Food Database
The GMO Food Database.
You want to know for which food products or plants gene technology plays a role?

Then enter here the name of a plant, foodstuff, ingredient or additive:

Database search
All database entries in overview:
Plants
Foodstuffs
Ingredients and additives
Additives according to E numbers
Enzymes


Please note that the GMO Compass Database currently is being expanded and updated. Please check back for new entries.

Newsletter
Sign up to receive regular updates on GM food quality and safety.
To change or cancel your subscription, please enter your email above.
Contact
Comments, suggestions or questions?
Please contact us at info@gmo-compass.org
Change font size
1 2 3

GMO Labelling

Labelled Goods Hard to Find


The newly extended EU directive for labelling genetically modified foods has been in effect since April 2004. However - contrary to expectations - very little has changed throughout most of Europe. Labelling requirements were broadened significantly, but consumers nonetheless rarely find labels indicating the use of genetic engineering.

Producers: Avoiding labelling

Often, labels are interpreted as warnings rather than simply as information about the application of genetic engineering. Many consumers believe that GMO labels are meant to notify of health hazards - and feel "on the safe side" if they choose products without GMO labels.

Bild vergrößern

Bild vergrößern

Bild vergrößern

Bild vergrößern

Bild vergrößern

Bild vergrößern

Bild vergrößern
Going shopping: GM products haven’t been "banished" from supermarkets everywhere in Europe. In the Netherlands, a range of products can be found which are labelled according to the regulations. (Photo: baking fat, margarine, soybean oil, mayonnaise, salad dressing)

With this perception in mind, producers expect accurately labelled products containing GM ingredients to fail on the market - and expect that consumers will opt against them, even though they essentially are equivalent to competing "GM free" products. In addition, environmental and consumer groups publicly denounce labelled products - placing pressure on producers.

Anyone who places labels on their GM products risks losses in sales and damage to their image. In order to avoid this, many producers have changed the composition of their products: rapeseed oil (canola oil) may be used instead of soybean oil for producing margarine – soy lecithin may be replaced by chemical emulsifiers. Other producers pay a premium for soy with a written guarantee that GM content does not exceed the 0.9 percent threshold, thus allowing the producer to use soy and forgo the GM label.

Genetic engineering outside the scope of the labelling directive

Areas in which the application of genetic engineering is very common and often unavoidable are not covered by the labelling directive. Genetic engineering is a very broad field, and even when organisations, producers, and retailers use the term "GMO-free", genetic engineering often is involved nonetheless. Therefore, even supermarkets with no products labelled as GMOs may not be free from all types of genetic engineering.

Examples of this are:

  • Meat, milk, egg, and other animal products from animals fed GM plants. Annually, the EU imports 35 to 40 million tonnes of soy primarily for use as animal feed. Commercially available soy-based feeds generally contain 40-60 percent material from GM plants.

  • Food enzymes produced with the help of GM microorganisms. Such enzymes are used in the production of cheese, baked goods, juices, wine, grape sugar, and glucose syrup.

  • Additives, vitamins, and flavours that are produced by GM microorganisms. These substances do not require labelling if they do not possess content from the GM microorganism from which they were produced.

 


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

January 23, 2007 [nach oben springen]

© 2014 by GMO Compass. All rights reserved. | Imprint | website created by webmotive