GENTECH archive 8.96-97

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Grain Traders Say No To Labeling



    LONDON, Feb 24 (Reuter) - It is impractical to call for labelling of
genetically modified raw materials in food, according to grain trade group
the Grain and Feed Trade Association. 

    The move follows a call by Britain's Consumer Association for labelling
of all foods containing genetically modified ingredients. 

    In a paper presented to the Institute of Grocery Distribution's
Biotechnology Labelling Group on Thursday by GAFTA president David Small, the
association put forward the view that it was not possible to segregate
modified soybeans which have been sown alongside or with traditional
soybeans. 

    "Bulk commodities are, by definition, not traceable to the farm on which
they were produced," GAFTA said in a statement referring to a type of maize
developed by Ciba-Geigy AG <CIGZn.S>and the "Round Up Ready" soya developed
by Monsanto<MTC.N>. 

    "Since both the U.S. government and the EU commission have given approval
to the Round Up Ready soybean, stating that there is no need for them to be
segregated, then clearly there is no need nor incentive on the part of the
producer in the USA to do so. 

    "The possibilities for fraud would be considerable in any attempt to
declare products GMO (genetically modified organism) 

free," GAFTA said. 

    "No responsible commercial trader or exporter could provide 100 per cent
guarantee that their shipments were GMO free, because of their liability
potential." 

    In general, GAFTA welcomes biotechnological advances, yielding, it says,
disease and insect resistant raw materials, grown with less chemicals. 

    --Christopher Lyddon, London newsroom +44 171 542 7928   

19:00 02-24-97