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6-Regulation: New Zealand and Australia start new GE food labellingdiscussion



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

TITLE:  Discussion paper on GM-labelling welcomed
SOURCE: New Zealand Government Press Release
        http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/PA0409/S00310.htm
DATE:   15 Sep 2004

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Discussion paper on GM-labelling welcomed

The release of a discussion paper will assist with plans to develop
trans-Tasman guidelines on GM-labelling by early next year.

The release of a discussion paper Proposed Draft Guidelines on the
Labelling of Genetically Modified Foods and Food Products, by the
Commerce Commission, was welcomed today by Consumer Affairs Minister
Judith Tizard.

Judith Tizard says the paper will assist with plans to develop trans-
Tasman guidelines on GM-labelling by early next year.

"A trans-Tasman approach will ensure food-manufacturers, suppliers and
industry in New Zealand and Australia have consistent information about
labelling both genetically modified and GM-free food."

The Commerce Commission has said it will work with the Australian
Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to develop the joint
guidelines on GM-labelling.

Judith Tizard said the government had looked at the option of developing
a voluntary GM-free label, however, it was not technically possible at
this stage to identify all GM content present in foods with 100% certainty.

"Consumers and industry told us that they didn't want a half way
solution. In keeping with the recommendations of the Royal Commission,
clear guidelines will be made available on what is required to label a
food 'GM-free'."

The discussion paper sets out the Commerce Commission's current approach
to the labelling and promotion of genetically modified foods under the
Fair Trading Act. A copy of the paper is available on the Commission's
website, www.comcom.govt.nz

Submissions close on 11 October 2004.


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

TITLE:  Commerce Commission releases draft GM labelling guidelines
SOURCE: Commerce Commission, New Zealand, Media Release
        http://www.comcom.govt.nz/publications/display_mr.cfm?mr_id=1395
DATE:   15 Sep 2004

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Commerce Commission releases draft GM labelling guidelines

The invites submissions on a discussion paper that includes draft
guidelines on the labelling of genetically modified foods and food
products. A copy of the paper is available on the Commission's website
homepage, www.comcom.govt.nz. Submissions close on 11 October 2004.
Commission Chair Paula Rebstock said the paper is intended to assist
discussions with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
(ACCC) in preparing joint guidelines. "The discussion paper sets out the
Commission's current approach to the labelling and promotion of
genetically modified foods under the Fair Trading Act," said Ms Rebstock.
"Trans-Tasman guidelines will enable manufacturers to more easily and
accurately label food exported between the two countries, and would
therefore enable consumers to choose their food products with greater
confidence."

http://www.comcom.govt.nz/gm/Commerce%20Commission%20Draft%20GM-
free%20Guidelines%20September%202004.PDF
copy of the Discussion Paper on Proposed Draft Guidelines on the
Labelling of Genetically Modified Foods and Food Products.

Media contact:
Jackie Maitland, Communications Manager
Phone work (04) 924 3708, mobile 029 924 3708



                                  PART III
-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Dems offer food for thought
SOURCE: The Australian
        http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5744,
        10750421%255E1702,00.html
DATE:   13 Sep 2004

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Dems offer food for thought

AUSTRALIA'S quarantine watchdog should be replaced and more scrutiny
given to genetically modified crops, the Australian Democrats said today.

The party's agriculture spokesman, John Cherry, said the nation's food
safety policies had to be overhauled to better protect Australians and
the nation's reputation as a clean and green provider of food exports.

Senator Cherry, facing re-election for his Senate spot in Queensland,
said the Federal Government had allowed the nation's quarantine system to
be undermined.

"The most fundamental challenge is the watering down of our quarantine
system, with the Howard government's Biosecurity Australia wanting to
approve the importation of Filipino bananas, New Zealand apples and US
pork despite the real risk of disease outbreaks," he said.

"The Democrats are calling for the abolition of Biosecurity Australia,
the grandiose name of a federal agriculture department section, and for
it to be replaced by an independent statutory authority."

Senator Cherry said the current gene technology regulator, Sue Meek,
should also be removed because she was taking too narrow a view on the
potential health and environmental impact of GM crops.

In addition, he said, there should be national research into the
irradiation of food and whether there are any long-term impacts from the
process.

"Irradiation removes up to 80 per cent of vitamins, changing the food and
rendering it less wholesome," he said.

Senator Cherry said a national development program for organic food had
to be developed, which would also include better promotion of direct
selling of organic food through farmers' markets.

"The Democrats' food security plan would give consumers and farmers more
confidence about the food produced and sold in Australia and help defend
our clean, green food proud reputation," he said.




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