GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOODS---HOW SHALL THEY BE LABELED FOR INTERNATIONAL
This question will be one of the central topics debated by the Codex
Committee on Food Labeling which will meet in Ottawa, Canada next week (25
through 29 of May).
This will be a critical debate in the process of formulating international
regulations on use of genetic engineering in food production.
You can influence the outcome of this debate.
How? By writing to your national delegate to the Codex Committee on Food
If you email your letter to the email address of Richard Wolfson
<firstname.lastname@example.org>, we will hand deliver it to your national
delegate at the Ottawa meeting and speak with her/him personally to
emphasize the critical nature of this question.
At present, the Executive Committee of Codex has proposed a policy on
labeling that is highly favorable to the biotechnology industry, but fails
to protect consumers.
This regulation does not require producers to label genetically engineered
foods, except in a few minor cases. Even in those cases, the proposed
regulation leaves consumers vulnerable to unsafe genetically engineered
The sample letter, below, proposes revisions to the regulation that will
strengthen consumer protection and ensure that we all have the ability to
choose whether or not we will eat genetically engineered foods.
Please take a few minutes to let your delegate know your concerns on this
If you do not have time to write your own letter to your delegate, please
feel free to revise the sample letter to reflect your views, or just sign
the sample letter as it is and send it in.
Thank you very much for your rapid attention to this critical issue.
Dr. John Fagan
Professor of Molecular Biology
What Is Codex?
In brief: The Codex Alimentarius Commission has been designated by the
World Trade Organization as the body which formulates regulations regarding
international trade in food. As such, the regulations carry the weight of
international law and profoundly influence the quality, safety, and other
characteristics of the foods that we find in our local food markets.
The Codex Committee on Food Labeling (CCFL) focuses on labeling issues, and
delegates from all nations that are signatories to GATT attend committee
meetings held roughly once per year--usually more than 100 delegations
For the past three years we have been working to monitor the workings of
the CCFL and to influence the deliberations of this committee to ensure
that the regulations that it formulates reflect the needs and welfare of
consumers around the world.
For more information on Codex, go to their web site (search for Codex).
Richard Wolfson, PhD
Consumer Right to Know Campaign,
for Mandatory Labelling and Long-term
Testing of all Genetically Engineered Foods,
500 Wilbrod Street
Ottawa, ON Canada K1N 6N2
tel. 613-565-8517 fax. 613-565-1596
Our website, http://www.natural-law.ca/genetic/geindex.html
contains more information on genetic engineering as well as
previous genetic engineering news items
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