Will losing the right to choose GM free food be a price of the next and biggest free trade deal? The US has made clear that a priority for it in the proposed Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) is the abolition of laws requiring the labelling of GM food.
Currently, any foods with more than 1% GM content must be labelled in New Zealand. Consumer concern has seen supermarkets avoiding formulas that would trigger labelling in their own brands and retailers essentially do not stock products that are labelled as containing GM ingredients. Without that law, consumers who want to avoid GMOs in their food would have to rely on the willingness of producers to declare the content – or on a patchwork of independent testing.
Loss of the automatic right to know when a product contains GM ingredients could quickly slide into effective loss of the right to choose everyday foods that have been formulated to avoid GMOs. Instead of it being the norm for food companies to strive to keep GM out of their products, this could become the preserve of niche eco brands.
Read the Right To Choose Briefing