Genetically Modified Organisms: Food

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 17 May 2024.

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Photo of Virginia Crosbie Virginia Crosbie Conservative, Ynys Môn

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps she is taking to ensure (a) clear and (b) transparent labelling of genetically modified foods.

Photo of Virginia Crosbie Virginia Crosbie Conservative, Ynys Môn

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps she is taking to ensure traceability in the food chain for foods that contain genetically modified ingredients.

Photo of Andrea Leadsom Andrea Leadsom The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Genetically modified organism (GMO) labelling rules stipulate that foods sold in Great Britain that contain genetically modified ingredients must be labelled. This labelling gives consumers the choice on whether to consume such foods containing, or consisting of, GMO ingredients, and the choice to avoid such foods, should they wish to do so. In the case of food sold loose, or where food has been cooked in genetically modified products such as cooking oil, this must appear on a notice, menu, ticket, or label which can be easily read by customers.

Information about any characteristic or property which renders a food consisting of or containing genetic modifications different from its conventional counterpart, such as its composition, nutritional value, the intended use of the food or feed, or any health implications for certain sections of the population, must also be included.

The Government maintains a list of GMOs authorised for use in food and feed. It is compulsory that the product adheres to mandatory traceability and labelling requirements, and that the product developer provides monitoring reports to the Food Standards Agency and Food Standards Scotland on an annual basis.

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