This came in on a Mexico list but originated from Reuters and AP via
"The Campaign" <email@example.com>:
I always do a search and replace to get rid of the >s when reposting
Mexican Senate passes bill on genetic food labels
MEXICO CITY, March 31 (Reuters) - Mexico's Senate has approved a
health bill that would require genetically modified foodstuffs to be
labeled, one of the promoters of the new law said on Friday.
Senator Samuel Aguilar, head of the Senate's health committee and a
backer of the bill, said the upper house unanimously approved the bill
in a vote on Thursday.
The law, which has to pass through the Chamber of Deputies, would
require foodstuffs containing genetically modified ingredients, to
carry labels reading "Food made with genetically modified products."
The labels would also have to identify the modification.
"We are looking after the right to information and the health of the
Mexicans," said Aguilar, a member of the long-ruling Institutional
Revolutionary Party (PRI).
The debate over GMO plants -- plants given an extra gene that makes
them resistant for example to pesticides, produce a natural
insecticide, or stops fruit from maturing too quickly -- has not yet
grabbed the public imagination in Mexico.
But environmental groups, in particular Greenpeace, have urged the
government to legislate against them because of what they say are huge
quantities of imported genetically modified corn entering the country
from the United States.
Greenpeace says that some 20 percent of the 5 million metric tons a
year in U.S. corn Mexico imports consists of genetically modified
grain. The grain is mixed with normal corn and is indistinguishable to
the naked eye.
Critics say their effect on the environment could be disastrous,
especially in countries with rich biodiversity such as Mexico. Their
proponents say they are the solution to the world's future food
Aguilar said the bill approved by the Senate was not aimed at halting
technological progress. But he said that given the global controversy
surrounding genetic modification, especially in Europe, Mexicans had a
right to know if they were eating the products.
Mexican senate votes to require labels on genetically modified foods
MEXICO CITY (March 30, 2000 8:54 p.m. EST) - Mexico's Senate on
Thursday voted unanimously to require the labeling of foods that
contain genetically modified ingredients.
The measure appears to generally agree with the U.N. biosafety
protocol adopted at a meeting of 140 national representatives in
Montreal, Canada, though that applies only to imported foods.
Several countries, notably in Europe, already require such labels,
though they are not required in the United States. Food industry
representatives have argued they would create unwarranted concern
Under the Mexican measure, genetically modified foods would have to
bear a label reading "transgenic food." Those containing some
genetically modified ingredients would need a label reading: "Food
made with transgenic products."
The measure approved by the Senate now must be approved by the lower
house of congress, the Chamber of Deputies, before going to the
president for his signature.
Major agricultural companies, many of them in the United States, have
argued that there is no scientific basis for concern about genetically
modified crops, which are often designed to be more productive,
durable or disease resistant.
However, many environmentalists argue that a lack of experience with
such foods means it is too early to rule them safe.
The Mexican branch of the environmentalist group Greenpeace issued a
news release late Thursday welcoming the decision, saying it
"recognizes the concerns expressed by diverse social sectors."
The group also urged Mexico to halt the import of genetically modified
corn, which it said could endanger traditional Mexican corn varieties.
Nando Media & Associated Press
To Unsubscribe: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the command
"unsubscribe sanet-mg". If you receive the digest format, use the command
To Subscribe to Digest: Email email@example.com with the command
All messages to sanet-mg are archived at:
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Wed Apr 05 2000 - 20:00:37 EDT