GENET archive


3-Food: Thailand (2): Foundation for Consumer says no to GM food

-------------------------- GENET-news ---------------------------

TITLE:  Consumers say no to GM food
        20 groups align to form confederation 
SOURCE: The Bangkok Post, by Aphaluck Bhatiasevi
DATE:   November 2, 1999

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Consumers say no to GM food
20 groups align to form confederation 

Consumer organisations are preparing to mobilise their opposition
to the use of genetically modified products amid confusion over
their harmful effects. Saree Ongsomwang, of the Foundation For
Consumers, said though much has been said about GM products,
consumers remain confused.

A survey at Lumpini Park yesterday showed that most consumers
were ignorant of the GM issue, she said. "Out of 300 people
questioned, only two knew what it was and voiced concern about
the issue," said Ms Saree. Believing the GM issue concerned the
safety of consumers and was not a mere trade issue between Europe
and the US as claimed, she said those affected should have a
bigger say.

"Our biggest concern is the safety of consumers and the effects
of GM product consumption on biodiversity," said Ms Saree. She
also called upon state authorities like the Food and Drug
Administration to take the matter seriously. "Instead of looking
at it as a mere dispute between two Western continents, the FDA
should play a more vital role in protecting consumers," said Ms
Saree. Meanwhile, more than 20 consumer groups nationwide
yesterday announced the setting up of a confederation to
strengthen consumers at the grassroots level.

The Consumer Organisation Confederation of Thailand will
independently represent consumers in voicing views and concerns
at the policy level, said Ms Saree. She said such grouping of
consumer organisations would strengthen their participation at
all levels. "Instead of waiting for us consumers to be invited to
voice our opinion on various issues, we'll state our stand right
from the start."


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