4 items from just-food.com
1. Norway says no to GM food
2. Largest Czech supermarket to stop selling food containing GMOs
3. S. KOREA: Police to have increased power over GM labelling
4. "Medium likelihood" that StarLink is a food allergen - human testing required and research on children's diets
NORWAY: Norway says no to GM food
3 Jan 2001
Source: just-food.com editorial team
Norway has refused to approve three genetically modified products, which have been approved by the EU, writes Danish daily Aktuelt. The products concerned are two types of rapeseed oil and a test material to find out if milk contains antibiotics.
Although Norway is not an EU member, the country usually uses EU rules as a guideline, so as not to hamper trade within the Scandinavian free trade area. The Norwegian Minister for the Environment, Siri Bjerke, bases the ban on the fact that GMO products can make people and animals resistant to antibiotics.
However, Norway has not condemned all GMOs. For example, three genetically modified carnations have been allowed. They cannot grow in Norway, due to the climate. The new flowers have had their colour changed from white to violet and, additionally, they keep longer.
By Penny Leese, just-food.com correspondent
CZECH REPUBLIC: Largest Czech supermarket to stop selling food containing GMOs
28 Nov 2000
Source: Press Release
The largest supermarket chain in the Czech Republic, Delvita, has announced that it will stop selling any food products containing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).
Following a Greenpeace demonstration in front of a Delvita supermarket in the centre of Prague, the chain - part of the group Delhaize Le Lion - announced that it would begin the move towards all the food it sold being GMO free.
Greenpeace welcomed Delvita's statement, a further signal that companies outside the European Union are also responding to increasing public pressure to reject genetically engineered (GE) food products.
Ninety-nine percent of Czech consumers who responded to a recent Czech newspaper poll on GMOs declared they did not want GE food to be sold in their country. In an earlier poll last March 63 percent of respondents said they would not eat GE food even if it was cheaper than conventional food.
So far, four supermarket chains (BIlla, Delvita, Norma, SPAR) declared they would go GE-free and two others (Penny Market, Globus) declared they would be going GE-free with their own brands.
Greenpeace Czech Republic will produce and distribute on November 29 a list of products sold in the country exposing those which contain GMOs.
SOUTH KOREA: Police to have increased power over GM labelling
13 Nov 2000
Source: Clare Harman
The government bill concerning GM labelling is to be extended next July to provide police with increased judicial powers over food producers.
The Agriculture and Forestry Ministry revealed the plans today (13 November) in a bid to crack down on those who fail to label correctly. Now those farmers guilty of false tagging will be subject to three years imprisonment or a fine that could reach US$26,500.
Producers of beans, corns and bean sprouts will have to provide GMO labels from next March.
USA: "Medium likelihood" that StarLink is a food allergen, say scientists
6 Dec 2000
Source: just-food.com editorial team
There is a “medium likelihood” that StarLink corn, developed by French group Aventis, is a potential food allergen, said a panel of scientists whose task it is to advise the US Environmental Protection Agency.
The genetically modified corn, subject of numerous recall debacles over recent months, was not approved for human consumption because of fears that it could prompt allergic reactions. The scientists have also claimed however that because levels of the corn in food production are so small, there exists only a low probability that any consumer might experience an allergic reaction.
With this in mind, the scientists added that there is “the highest priority” to conduct a study among those people who have experienced corn allergens previously, and even on the diets of children, who are more sensitive to foods than adults.