Agriculture Minister Kim Chance has accused the Australian Government of double standards, after Australian delegates spoke against mandatory labelling requirements for Genetically Modified (GM) food at an international forum in Malaysia last month.
Mr Chance said he was stunned that the Australian delegation, led by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ), had spoken out against an international guideline on labelling of all GM food, despite the fact that Australia already had mandatory labelling requirements for GM food.
The Minister said FSANZ had failed to protect Australian farmers and consumers by its stance at the Codex Committee on Food Labelling and was also neglecting the community by its current position of watering down labelling requirements on imported food.
“I find it incredible that the Australian Government could speak against labelling of GM food at an international forum,” he said.
“Australia has labelling of GM foods and yet the delegation failed to stand up even for the limited amount of protection we have at home.
“It begs the question, does FSANZ plan to abandon all labelling of GM foods in Australia?”
Western Australia has been a legally declared GM-free area since the Gallop Government announced a moratorium on the commercial production of GM crops in 2001.
The moratorium supports the State’s ‘clean and green’ status and is also reflective of overwhelming public opinion in WA and consumer sentiment around the world.
“The State Government’s stance on GM food crops will protect the lifestyle of our farming communities by protecting our overseas markets and environment,” Mr Chance said.
“It will also ensure that WA consumers continue to have a choice about the food they wish to eat.
“The Gallop Government is committed to protecting and enhancing Western Australia’s unique lifestyle and environment.”
Minister's office: 9213 6700