GENET archive

[Index][Thread]

6-Regulation: Row over FAO proposal on GM food labelling



-----------------------
genet-news mailing list
-----------------------

                                  PART I
-------------------------------- GENET-news --------------------------------

TITLE:  Row over FAO proposal on GM food labelling
SOURCE: The Hindu Business Line, India, by M.R. Subramani
        http://www.hinduonnet.com/bline/2003/05/12/stories/
        2003051201140700.htm
DATE:   May 11, 2003

------------------ archive: http://www.gene.ch/genet.html ------------------


Row over FAO proposal on GM food labelling

DAIRY and poultry players, especially exporters, see red in a proposal
put forth on traceability and labelling of genetically-modified (GM)
foods by the task force of the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO)
on animal feeding. But a section of those opposed to GM organisms feels
the draft code of task force to the Codex Commission is on the right track.

In the eye of the storm is the draft code of "Practice on good animal
feeding", almost finalised at a sitting in Copenhagen, Denmark recently
by the task force. The draft, now forwarded to the Codex Commission, is
set for approval towards the end of next month.

The task force members, including representatives from India, have come
up with the proposal to ensure that food consumed by humans is safe. The
task force wants this done by making sure that animals are fed with food
that will not lead to any side effects to humans consuming them.

The task force has laid guidelines for procurement, handling, storage,
processing, and distribution of animal feed and feed ingredients for
food-producing animals.

Called the Code of Practice, it will apply to the production and use of
all materials destined for animal feed and feed ingredients at all levels
whether produced industrially or on farm. It also includes grazing or
free-range feeding, forage crop production and aquaculture.

What has become objectionable to dairy and poultry players is the
labelling norm.

"We in India will have a problem as Bt cotton has now been allowed and
cotton seed sake is widely used by the dairy farmers as well as some of
the feed mills. In times to come other GM crops will also be released and
if India has to be a major player in the animal sector, we need to oppose
the GM traceability and labelling guidelines or a developing country like
India will have to pay a heavy price for this," industry sources said.

The code calls for proper procedures to trace feed and feed ingredients
through proper labelling and record keeping at all stages of production
and distribution.

This should facilitate the prompt trace-back or trace-forward of
materials and products if any actual or potential health risks are
identified. It should also help in and prompt and complete withdrawal or
recall of products whenever necessary.

Those opposed to GM organisms welcome the draft. "It will ensure that any
animal feed is not tainted," they said. The US is one of the countries
against the proposal and the US lobby is seen trying to build an opinion
among dairy and poultry farmers against the draft code.

"Naturally, US corn imported to India and other developing countries will
come under microscope through this proposal. It is one of the reasons
that an opinion is being built against the task force proposal," they said.

FAO said in its Web site that the task force had a substantive debate on
the necessity of labelling GM and derived products. The mandate of the
Codex Committee on Food Labelling will be limited to labelling issues
relating to food.

At the Copenhagen meet, some task force members pointed out that
labelling of foods derived from GMOs had not been decided at the relevant
Commission bodies yet and that there was no need to single out the
labelling of individual technologies in this Code of Practice. But other
delegates favoured labelling of feed and feed ingredients derived from
new technologies as "it is an important risk management measure and
allows consumers to make an informed choice".

Besides, the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand are opposed to the
decision on labelling.


                                  PART II
-------------------------------- GENET-news --------------------------------

TITLE:  Consideration of the Proposed Draft Code of Practice on Good Animal
        Feeding
SOURCE: JOINT FAO/WHO FOOD STANDARDS PROGRAMME
        http://www.codexalimentarius.net/ccaf04/af03_01e.htm
DATE:   Mar 28, 2003

------------------ archive: http://www.gene.ch/genet.html ------------------


AD-HOC INTERGOVERNMENTAL CODEX TASK FORCE ON ANIMAL FEEDING

Fourth Session
Copenhagen, Denmark, 25 - 28 March 2003
To be held at the Moltke Palais, Dronningens Tværgade 2, 1302 Copenhagen
K, Denmark
from Tuesday 25 March at 9.30 hours to Friday 28 March 2003

Consideration of the Proposed Draft Code of Practice on Good Animal Feeding

ALINORM 03/38, Appendix II

[...]
Section 4.2 Labelling

56. The Task Force had a substantive debate on the necessity of labelling
genetically modified organisms and derived products. It was noted that
that the Codex Alimentarius Commission had established the ad hoc Task
Force on Foods Derived from Biotechnology to address this matter and that
the mandate of the Codex Committee on Food Labelling was limited to the
consideration of labelling issues related to food.

57. Some delegations pointed out that labelling of foods derived from
GMOs had not been decided at the relevant Commission bodies yet and that
there was no need to single out the labelling of individual technologies
in this Code of Practice.

 58. Other delegations were in favour of labelling of feed and feed
ingredients derived from "new technologies" as it was an important risk
management measure16 and it allowed consumers to make an informed choice.

59. After a lengthy debate and based on the view of the vast majority,
the Task Force substituted the wording in square brackets with "Competent
authorities may decide that feed and feed ingredients consisting,
containing or produced from GMOs should be labelled with references to
the genetic modification as a risk management measure" and noted that the
Delegations of the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand were
opposing to this decision.

60. The delegation of the United States, with the concurrence of the
delegations of New Zealand, Australia and Canada, interpreted this
statement as meaning that a risk assessment was conducted as
justification for taking any such risk management measures and that this
interpretation was consistent with the Codex Principles for Risk Analysis.
[...]