Compulsory labeling for GMO food

GMO food. I would like to see it as compulsory labeling.


Why do you want compulsory labeling?


This is a difficult one, as technically as most foods grown commercially have been genetically modified, by decades of breeding programs and from narural disease response.

Writing legislation would be problematic as it may trap foods that most may not seem to be genetically modified.

If one means food that has had specific genomes added, this could also be difficult as as naturally occurring viruses can do the same thing.


While there doesn’t appear to be any evidence of special negative health effects from the consumption of genetically modified food, consumers do want to know where our food comes from and how it’s produced and we have the right to make our own choices. And in Australia, labelling laws already do apply to this issue.

In Australia, GM foods, ingredients and additives must be labelled with the words “genetically modified” if they contain new DNA or protein that their conventional counterparts do not.

@phb I’m no expert (though I’ll see if some of our CHOICE experts can chime in) so I figure either there’s a definition of genetic modification in the Act, or courts will rule based on whatever they consider reasonable people would understand the intended meaning of the term to be.

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Hi @viveka,

I take the current gmo definition as capturing those foods which may have specific genomes which have been ‘inserted’ into a dna chain where such modification could have also been achieved by a number of cross breeding cycles. For example, inserting drought resistance in to cereal grain dna using current gene transfer technologies where the same dna could have been achieved through long and laborious cross breeding between species with the same genus. The conventional counterparts of the species where drought resistance has been inserted does not necessarily contain drought resistance.

There are benefits (time, cost, consistency etc) of using gene transfer methods rather than conventional breeding programs to achieve similar outcomes.

Maybe the definition should be reworded to say genome transfer across genus and/or where conventional breeding programs could not achieve the same/similar outcomes.

This would then limit the definition of gmo to those foods which have been manipulated beyond that which could be seen as natural or through natural selection.

Food for thought…


I think the gmo labeling idea is a waste of time. It has been pushed by inner city greenies who are always looking for a cause. In the 30 years or so that gmo food has been available there has never been any recorded scientific evidence that it may cause harm. If people are willing to believe scientists about other things, why don’t or won’t they believe about this. As for having the right to know where our food comes from, if this is harmless why just stop at gmo foods. Let us know what state it is from or what district, or which side of the hill it has been grown. There is a never-ending possibilities that can be conveyed to the consumers and it makes as much sense.


I would think the definition of GM would include that GM means being modified by human genetic engineering not the natural ‘genetic engineering’ of evolution.


If GM is so good for us, why are the corporations involved in creating GM food products so hell bent on suppressing any disclosure of their products in our food supply? In the US, they’ve blown millions of dollars - probably several hundred million dollars - busting themselves to block all attempts to require meaningful disclosure to consumers. What is it that they are trying to hide? Why does truth petrify them?

From a consumer viewpoint, I believe it should be the consumer’s right to make a choice - between GM or non-GM or organic produce. And that choice is impossible, without disclosure.


Corporations carrying out GM modification in laboratories know perfectly well which items they have GM modified - they just don’t want anyone else to know.


Exactly. It’s just that cross-breeding doesn’t fit my definition of GM. It is perfectly natural whereas GM is not.


There is no evidence that GMOs are harmful & informing the public will just lead to, ill-informed, consumers wanting them banned.
Feeding an increasing population will require more GMO work, particularly with climate change.
Consuming a “fish gene” in wheat is not an issue, as people consume that same gene when they eat fish. We also share over 50% of our genes with a banana, & we don’t think we’re eating humans when eating fruit.
The calling for labelling is a non issue.
It’ll just lead to similar campaigns like the “Food Babe” championed in the USA, where she claimed ingredients that were in yoga mats were in food. Technically true, as the ingredient she claimed was an issue is in every plant cell on earth, so it would be in food. It doesn’t make it dangerous.


Semantic argument only.

You can largely blame the media for this outrage, but these ‘inner-city greenies’ also hold blame for not conducting their own impartial, scientific research. That being said, the fact that the whole shenanigan has been so hush-hush evokes questions as to why the major corporations are shying away from transparency.

Yes, transparency is needed, but one fairly good reason as to why they would be against labelling is because there are many people in the general public that haven’t conducted their own scientific research and instead trust emotive news stories who are only trying to make a profit off the story, not actually spread education.

Edit: Ah, I see @panlezark has already answered your concerns here.

Ah, the old natural is healthy argument.
Cyanide is natural. As is arsenic.
There has been many, extensive, scientific studies into GM. There has been no adverse effects shown.
I’d suggest you read some articles by Bill Nye, on this subject. He WAS anti GM but is now in favour. He changed by reading the evidence.
Anything is poison, btw. Water & oxygen can poison you, enough to be fatal.
Natural does not equal safe, either.
Adding a gene to make rice have more protein, or for wheat to be more drought resistant, or, even better, rice to require less water, could stop millions starving due to changes with climate change.
Organic methods can’t feed 7 billion people.

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Agree with you.
We should as consumers have the choice of what we put into our body.
Also very important at present as most of the scientific research I believe has been funded by the companies that are involved in GMO- so IMHO profits may just allow for only favourable results to be released


why have compulsory label;ling> To have a choice.
If there are GMO in the product labelling makes it easy to choose to avoid.

As it is at the moment anything with canola,soy (except a few countries), corn from the USA is not bought. They might be GMO free I cant tell so I dont buy


No negative health affects?? Don’t agree… of course there are. The Monsanto model of GMO is Roundup Ready… and so that means that the deadly chemical can be sprayed onto growing plants and those plants absorb the chemicals and we eat them… A quote… " One of the detrimental effects of glyphosphate on the human body is its impact on the gut. Typically, the human digestive system contains harmless bacteria that are necessary for digestion, nutrient absorption, and play a huge part in our immune system. Glyphosphate is killing these necessary microorganisms, contributing to potential problems like leaky gut, which compromises the protective gut lining and allows toxins and bacteria a pathway into the bloodstream" … Its also linked to Cancer big time… see this link…
And there are more reasons… We DO NOT want GMO;s Monsanto style in Oz at all…But they are already here so we DEMAND compulsory Labelling… and not like the latest USA Law of labelling that the corporations themselves designed but one that has Power for the consumer not the Corporations.


This is Australia we have very well informed consumers thank you and we want them banned… in fact its not GMO foods that will feed the planet its good farming methods


GM foods generally require harmful chemicals in the growing phase. These chemicals have certainly been proven to be bad for the environment including human health. There is plenty of evidence for this. It is naive to believe that when you put scientists, corporations pushing GM and large food manufacturers together, that you will necessarily get something that will benefit the world at large.