Pro-Consumer Pro-Freedom Measure Wins in Thailand as USA Lags
Thailand Will Require Labelling of GM Foods
Thailand has now joined South Korea and Japan, as well as most of Europe, in deciding to label genetically modified foods. Consumers in these countries will enjoy higher levels of safety and information than consumers in the USA. Here's the news report.
Ministry expects GMO labels on all food products by year's end
by Aphaluck BhatiaseviPolicies for labelling genetically modified products would be drawn up within three months, Public Health Minister Sudarat Keyuraphan said yesterday. The Food and Drug Administration would do the labelling, she said.
"Three months is not too long a time. What we're concerned about is the health of consumers and our exports.
"There is no clear information about the safety of the products and the policies we issue will likely affect our exports," she said. While policies would be drawn up on the basis of Codex (a joint effort between the Food and Agriculture Organisation and World Health Organisation), officials would not wait for final resolutions from the grouping.
Food and Drug staff had been asked to work with the Agriculture and Co-operatives Ministry in gathering details on food products likely to contain GMO. "The public should be given a chance to choose whether to eat them or not," he said.
"This measure aims to protect the safety of consumers, not to hurt producers of food with GMO content," Public Health Minister Sudarat Keyuraphan said.
and from Greenpeace:
Laboratory tests commissioned by Greenpeace confirmed the presence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in seven daily food items sold in Thai supermarkets.
The GMOs were found in Nestle baby food, Good Time instant cereal, Knorr cup soup, Nissin cup noodle, Lay's Stax potato chips, Pringles snacks and High Class Vita-Tofu soybean curd.
None of the products contained information allowing consumers to determine whether they were eating GMO food, the statement said.
"Thai consumers have a right to refuse being treated like guinea pigs in what is a massive experiment with potentially far-reaching and irreversible consequences,'' Auaiporn Suthonthayakorn, campaigner for Greenpeace, said in a statement.
Greenpeace accused the manufacturers of practicing a double standard for rich and poor countries, naming multinational corporations Nestle, Unilever, Pepsi, Nissin, and Procter and Gamble.
''In other countries these same companies are implementing a GMO-free policy in the production of their food commodities and speak in favor of GMO labeling,'' the statement said.
In 1996, Nestle in Germany committed not to use GMOs in their baby food, but the company is selling the products in Thailand without informing mothers about the ingredients, it said.
Children should not be subjected to tainted foods. We applaud Thailand's move -- now how about some protection for US children? What's your view on all this? Share your opinions with others at The Progress Report:
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