HL Deb 17 March 2000 vol 610 c234WA
Lord Harris of Haringey

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What plans they have to introduce legislation to give effect to European Community Regulations 49/2000 and 50/2000 concerning the labelling of genetically modified foods. [HL1586]

The Minister of State, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (Baroness Hayman)

We have today laid before Parliament the Genetically Modified and Novel Foods (Labelling) (England) Regulations 2000 which will come into force on 10 April. These regulations make provision in England for the enforcement of two new European labelling regulations for GM foods which will take effect automatically in all member states on 10 April, as well as consolidating all earlier GM labelling provisions.

The first of these, EC Regulation 49/2000, amends Regulation 1139/98 on the labelling of foods containing GM soya and maize, to extend the scope of the requirements to include foods for catering establishments, and to establish a 1 per cent de minimis threshold for the adventitious contamination of non-GM material, below which GM labelling will not be required. The second, EC Regulation 50/2000, will require for the first time the labelling of foods and food ingredients which contain GM additives and flavourings.

The Government are determined that consumers should be able to make informed choices about whether or not to eat genetically modified foods, and these new regulations will strengthen further the arrangements already in place for this purpose.

A letter is being sent today to interested parties advising them of the content of the regulations and enclosing a copy of the text. A regulatory impact assessment for the regulations has been prepared and placed in the Libraries of both Houses.