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GM foods: The what, the why and the how.

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Introduction

GM foods: The what, the why and the how null The Zambian government's recent announcement that it would not accept 27 000 tons of food aid from the US to feed about two million of its people threatened by famine, because the food contained genetically modified (GM) grain, sparked a major debate around the subject. International organisations including the Food and Agriculture Organisation, the World Health Organisation and the World Food Program urged Zambia to accept the aid, while the EU, UK officials and many NGOs including a grouping of African civil society organisations criticised the US for putting such pressure on Zambia. The issue throws a spotlight on the crucial question of whether countries can make their own decisions about introducing GM crops ...read more.

Middle

The Food Standards Agency is the UK authority for evaluating GM foods under the EU novel Food Regulation, and oversees safety assessment of GM foods by independent scientists. Did you know...There have been no animal, fish or human genes used in the production of any GM food currently on sale in the UK. How are GM foods approved for safety? All genetically modified (GM) foods to be marketed in the EU are subjected to a rigorous safety assessment before being permitted to enter the food chain. In the UK this can involve up to 60 independent scientists. The FSA will make public the results of these assessments, unless it is commercially confidential, so as to allow input into the evaluation process. ...read more.

Conclusion

This approach is set out in EC guidelines, has been endorsed by the World Health Organisation and is widely used by other countries. What GM foods are on sale in the UK? Three genetically modified foods and ingredients are currently on sale or used in foods in the UK: * GM tomatoes sold only as tomato puree (Note: the FSA understands that this product has now been withdrawn by supermarkets) * GM soya * GM maize There is no GM fresh produce currently available. What about labelling of GM foods? The government supports consumer choice and current rules require that all foods containing GM material should be clearly labelled. The FSA will continue to press the European Commission to bring forward tougher regulations on 'GM free' claims. ...read more.

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