Over 80% of New Zealanders believe the current requirement to label genetically modified foods should be retained, according to a Consumer Link poll. Just 10% believe the regulations should not be retained, while 83% believe they should be.
The poll, commissioned by the Sustainability Council, was conducted from November 8th to 14th across a sample of 500 and has a margin of error of 3.3%.
New Zealand’s current law generally requires the labelling of food products that have more than 1% GM content. The US government considers these requirements a trade barrier and it is clear that it would like to see their effective removal as part of the proposed free trade deal – the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).
When MFAT’s chief TPP negotiator was asked last year what were “the top local impediments” to concluding a TPP agreement, the nation’s GMO regulations and Monsanto’s unhappiness with these was the first item cited, according to a US embassy cable disclosed by Wikileaks.
The Sustainability Council believes it is important that political parties declare their position on this issue before election day. In particular:
- Whether the party would make preservation of the current GM labelling requirements a bottom line for the TPP negotiations; and
- Whether it would rule out supporting any weakening of these requirements in the next term of government.
Question: “In New Zealand, food products you buy must generally state on the label if they contain genetically modified ingredients. Should the requirement to label genetically modified foods be retained?
Results: Yes 83.04% No 10.35% Don’t know6.60%