On Tuesday Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewart and Independent Senator Nix Xenophon introduced a bill to the upper house that called for food labelling standards to be redrawn. One of the key components of the Food Standards Amendment (Truth in Labelling - Genetically Modified Material) Bill 2010 would have genetically modified (GM) foods mandatorily labeled.
Senator Xenophon underscored the weakness of Australia's labelling regime: "Not enough Australians seem to realise the implications that the rapid introduction of genetically modified materials may have on our health and potentially on our ability to produce safe foods and foods free from GM contamination."
If the bill passes, Food Standards Australia New Zealand will be required to introduce labelling standards for foods containing GM materials, regardless of the amount or the process through which it entered the food.
"Truth in labelling is vital to enable Australian consumers to have an informed choice about the food they eat and the products they consume", the Senator said.
Greens Senator Christine Milne added that the new laws would also make the process of labelling goods `Made in Australia' more rigorous. The current laws, she said, allows imported goods to be branded Australian-made.
The Federal Government will be presented a review of food labelling next month.
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