HC Deb 04 July 2002 vol 388 c578W
Mr. Greg Knight

To ask the Secretary of State for Health if he will introduce measures to require the labelling of all food sold for human consumption in the United Kingdom to contain clear details of genetically modified contents. [65108]

Ms Blears

The Genetically Modified and Novel Foods (Labelling) (England) Regulations 2000 require foods containing genetically modified material, such as DNA or protein, to be labelled. Equivalent provisions apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Mr. Hendry

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what plans he has to require labels to identify food substances, colourings and additives which could result in hyperactive behaviour among children and young people. [63031]

Ms Blears

[holding answer 27 June 2002]European Union rules already require the labels of pre-packed foods to declare their in redients, including additives such as colourings, although some exemptions do apply. Amendments currently under discussion would remove a number of these exemptions, including the 'compound ingredient rule' which exempts ingredients of ingredients making up less than 25 per cent. of the food. The Food Standards Agency is supporting plans for early discussions aimed at removing the ingredient listing exemption for alcoholic drinks. It is also pressing for an early review of the justification for the remaining exemptions, especially those which apply to additives used as processing aids or which do not have a technological function in the final food.