URGENT: submissions to the government’s food labelling review close this Friday

URGENT: submissions to the government’s food labelling review close this Friday

This is a copy of an email I received from the True Food Network – The Greenpeace GE team. Please take action as it is imperative that all foods label GE ingredients!!

We all have a right to know what we’re eating. That’s why over 30,000 people signed the ‘Our Right to Know’ petition calling on the government to label genetically engineered (GE) foods.

On October 23, the federal government finally announced it would review food labelling laws in Australia and promised to take GE ingredients into consideration.

We’ve managed to get the government to listen to our concerns about GE food. But will it act? We now have an important chance to make sure it does.

The review has only allowed a four-week period for public submissions, which closes this Friday, November 20. Take action now by emailing a quick submission to FoodLabellingReview@health.gov.au and copy in the Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Mark Butler: mark.butler.mp@aph.gov.au. Your submission doesn’t have to be long; it can be a few lines on your personal feelings on GE food and why you want it labelled.

You can also help increase the pressure on the government to label GE food by forwarding this email to five friends and asking them to make a quick submission to the review.

Yours for True Food,

The Greenpeace GE team



Take Action: make a submission to the review. Here is some further information from the True Food Website.

A coalition of groups including Greenpeace, the Food Intolerance Network and Friends of the Earth has welcomed the announcement of an independent review into food labelling.

The review was announced at the Food Regulation Ministerial Council meeting in Brisbane last Friday. The groups say Australian food labelling is much weaker than in European countries and that consumers have a right to meaningful information about the foods they are eating.

Alarmingly, the Government is only allowing four weeks for public submissions. If you want better food labelling, you can email a personal submission by November 20th 2009 to FoodLabellingReview@health.gov.au.

The review will be chaired by former Federal Health Minister Neal Blewett and its terms of reference can be found here. Your submission does not have to be long – a few sentences will do. Here are some possible points you could include:

The Federal Government has still to implement the ALP policy supporting the comprehensive labelling of GE food.

The labelling of GE food in Australia is extremely limited and excludes some of the most basic and universally used ingredients. Under Australian labelling laws, only foods where GE proteins or DNA can be detected need to be labelled. Highly processed products, such GE canola oil and products from animals fed GE feed, escape labelling.

Independent polling last year shows that 90% of all Australians want all GE derived foods labelled and that the majority of consumers are less likely to buy food they know contains GE ingredients.

Consumers want GE foods labelled for a range of environmental, health and ethical reasons and should have the right to avoid GE food if they want to.

In Europe, all GE food and feed ingredients, including highly processed derivatives such as sugar, refined oil and starch must now be labelled. The European labelling regime resulted in only a negligible cost increase for industry and no additional costs for consumers. There is no reason why Australia can’t adopt the same standards.

For more information on the need for comprehensive GE labelling see our Eating in the Dark report.

It’s time for better labelling

Consumers in Europe are provided with easy to understand front of pack nutritional labelling and are told whether their food contains additives or products derived from genetically engineered crops. The European Parliament has backed the mandatory labelling of all food derived from nanotechnology. Meanwhile Australian consumers are left effectively eating in the dark.

Georgia Miller from Friends of the Earth, who is campaigning for the comprehensive labelling of foods containing manufactured nanoparticles, says, “Our current labelling laws are inadequate and do not give consumers the information they need to make informed choices about the food they eat.”



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