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REGULATION & FOOD: Agency to control distribution of GM foods in Malaysia







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TITLE:  AGENCY TO CONTROL DISTRIBUTION OF GM FOODS

SOURCE: The Star, Malaysia

AUTHOR: Zulkifli Abd Rahman

URL:    http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/8/24/nation/20070824172518&sec=nation

DATE:   24.08.2007

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AGENCY TO CONTROL DISTRIBUTION OF GM FOODS

SERDANG: An agency will be formed to control the distribution of genetically-modified (GM) foods and enforce the mandatory labelling of such products sold in the market.

Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the labelling requirement, which was stated in the Biosafety Bill 2006, will allow consumers to choose whether they want to consume or reject GM foodstuff.

”The regulations will allow people to be aware of the presence of GM foods as it will be stated on the labels pasted on the packaging,” he told reporters after presenting excellent service awards to 253 agriculture department staff at the Serdang Agricultural Institute here Friday.

(GM foods contain ingredients that have been modified through genetic engineering.)

Muhyiddin said, unlike some countries where producers can voluntarily label GM foods they export, Malaysia had decided through the Bill that consumers must be informed about the manufacturing process of GM foodstuff and choose whether they want to buy them based on the information they read on the packaging.

On another matter, Muhyiddin said his ministry had not received any report about the shortage in the supply of agricultural products due to bad weather.

He added that his officers would be informed by a committee led by the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry on the demand for fish, meat, vegetables and fruit before the start of the festive season.

”We will import if there is a supply shortage. However, it’s difficult to predict on the weather fluctuations, which will affect the food supply.

”Hopefully, last year’s major floods, which affected the farmers and caused food shortage, will not recur,” he added.


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