According to a news source, senators representing the Independent and Australian Greens parties have introduced legislation that would require food products to be labeled if they contain genetically modified (GM) material, regardless of amount or how it came to be incorporated in the product. The “Food Standards Amendment (Truth in Labelling—Genetically Modified Material) Bill 2010” would require Food Standards Australia New Zealand to develop labeling standards and establish due diligence guidelines for products claiming to be GM free. Debate on the proposal was adjourned.
Senator Nick Xenophon (I) said on introducing the bill, “Not enough Australians seem to realize the implications that the rapid introduction of genetically modified materials may have on our health and potentially on our ability to produce safe foods and foods free from GM contamination. Truth in labeling is vital to enable Australian consumers to have an informed choice about the food they eat and the products they consume. Otherwise, we are literally shopping in the dark.” Joining him in introducing the bill was Senator Rachel Siewert (AG). She noted, “The bill requires producers, manufacturers and distributors of food to label all products containing genetically modified organisms or ingredients.” See AAP, November 17, 2010