April 30, 2003, just-food.com:
The Brazilian government announced on Monday that all food and food
ingredients made from more than 1% genetically modified ingredients
must be labeled as containing GM materials. The new labeling regulation,
established as part of an effort to end Brazil’s large black
market in illegal GM soy planting, has been met with criticism on
both sides of the GM debate, reported Reuters.
One of the decree’s critics, Leila Oda, who is the president
of the National Biosecurity Association, said the decree did not make
clear what standards would be used to determine levels of GM content.
She added that there would be no way of detecting GM ingredients in
meat from animals that had been fed biotech corn or soy.
At the other end of the GM debate, consumer watchdog Idec said the
decree was a step forward but added that it doubted whether the decree
did enough to protect consumers. Idec said consumers would not know
if unlabelled food was totally GM-free. It also added its concerns
that no labeling would be required if GM ingredients were undetectable
after processing. "This means all highly processed products
(such as crackers, chocolates, pastas) will not be labeled, by the
simple fact of destroying the protein making it impossible to detect
GM," the institute was quoted as saying by Reuters.