GMA comments on proposed EC biotech regs

The battle over the EC’s position on genetically modified foods goes on.

In late 2001, the EC notified the World Trade Organization of its proposals to regulate GM food and feed and to institute traceability and labeling of food and feed products from GM organisms. In response, the Grocery Manufacturers of America submitted comments to the EC on traceability and labeling issues. GMA noted that its members did not plan to develop or market novel foods from GM organisms in Europe in the near or distant future because of a lack of consumer acceptance of these products and what it called “misleading perceptions of biotech foods” resulting from European labeling requirements. GMA said it strongly opposes the current mandatory labeling requirements for biotech foods and expanded upon that in its latest proposals. It said such labeling has the potential to significantly mislead consumers into believing that these products are somehow different or less safe than conventional foods, even though scientific experts around the world have said they are not. The EC’s proposals, said GMA, will result in less consumer awareness, confidence, and choice and will impose “significant burdens, costs, and marketplace disruptions” on GMA members marketing products in Europe. The EC proposals run counter to marketplace dynamics, in GMA’s view.

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