Codex abandons definition and labelling work on GMOs

Shaun Weston7 Jun 2011

Codex's Committee on Food Labelling (CCFL) has agreed to discontinue its work on definitions and labelling conditions related to GMOs following no agreement at last month's CCFL meeting in Canada, IADSA can report.

Commenting on the outcome of the meeting, the International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA) said that the decision was made to develop a compilation of Codex texts relating to the labelling of foods derived from modern biotechnology instead.

The Committee agreed a draft compilation at the meeting, which will be presented for final adoption at the Codex Alimentarius Commission meeting in July.

"This decision ends years of discussion in which the CCFL was divided between those proposing process-based GMO labelling and those proposing that GMOs should be declared on the label only when they are present in the final product," said David Pineda Ereño, IADSA's regulatory affairs director.

"The compilation document will recall and assemble some important elements of guidance from Codex texts that are relevant to the labelling of foods derived from modern biotechnology," he added. "It is not intended to suggest or imply that foods derived from modern biotechnology are necessarily different from other foods simply due to their methods of production, and the idea is that any approach implemented by Codex members should be consistent with already adopted Codex provisions."

At the meeting, the CCFL also agreed on a definition for Nutrient Reference Values (NRVs), to develop claims and conditions of use related to trans fatty acids for inclusion in the guidelines for use of nutrition and health claims, and to develop new work on mandatory nutrition labelling for all foods.

Source: IADSA