HC Deb 21 October 1999 vol 336 cc650-1W
17. Dr. Julian Lewis

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will make a statement about the rules for the labelling of imported genetically modified foods. [93405]

Ms Quin

EC regulations require all foods containing genetically modified material to be clearly labelled. These rules apply equally to imported food and foods produced in the UK.

19. Mr. Chope

To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if he will intervene to ensure that products can only be described as 100 per cent. Geneticmodification-free if they have no GM content. [93407]

Ms Quin

EC proposals on the rules to be applied to food described as "genetically modified (GM) free" are expected to be published in the next month or so. Until these rules are agreed any products described in this way will continue to be regulated by the Food Safety Act 1990. This Act makes it an offence to describe, by way of labelling or advertising, a food falsely or in a way likely to mislead a purchaser as to its nature, substance or quality. In addition, the Trade Descriptions Act 1968 makes it an offence for a trader to supply food to which a false trade description has been applied or to which a trade description has been applied which is misleading to a material degree. The interpretation and enforcement of these requirements is initially a matter for local authorities, and ultimately for the courts, to decide.

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