Mowlam promises action on GM labelling

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The Independent Online

Minister for the Cabinet Office Mo Mowlam today pledged to reform the: "haphazard" labelling system for genetically modified foods at the launch of a new Government web site on GM crops.

Minister for the Cabinet Office Mo Mowlam today pledged to reform the: "haphazard" labelling system for genetically modified foods at the launch of a new Government web site on GM crops.

The minister said the Government was committed to introducing "commonsense" in the debate over GM food and was working hard in Europe to tighten regulations on labelling.

She was speaking at the launch of the web site - www.gm-info.gov.uk - at an easyEverything Internet shop in central London.

Ms Mowlam said the Government was using information provided through the Internet to combat fears about genetically modified food.

She added: "At the moment labelling is pretty haphazard and we want to work with the retail and business sectors and the consumer groups to get a system that the consumers feel happy with and which is scientifically meaningful and people buy into."

The Government has already introduced labelling rules for genetically modified food which apply to retailers, caterers and restaurants.

Early next year new rules on labelling of additives and flavourings will be introduced.

The Food Standards Agency which is due to get up and running next year will also work on food labelling, including GM products.

In an article in The Express newspaper today, Ms Mowlam said the Government had created one of the toughest regulatory systems in the world for GM foods.

She wrote: "If Elizabethan England had the sort of regulatory system we have now, there is no way the potato would ever have been introduced into this country."

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