Australian food producers are committed to providing consumers with a range of food choices for themselves and their families. Australians can now choose to consume food that contains ingredients produced using conventional methods and food that contains ingredients produced using gene technology.
Australian food producers are neither proponents of gene technology nor are they opponents of the technology. Rather, they are committed to giving consumers the information they need to make their own decisions about whether they choose to consume foods that contain genetically modified ingredients.
This follows Australia’s food regulator, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), approving ingredients produced using genetic modification for use in food. After extensive testing, FSANZ determined that genetically modified ingredients were as safe as ingredients produced using conventional methods.
For example, FSANZ regulations allow food producers to use canola oil produced from a genetically modified canola plant as an ingredient in food because, once it has been refined, it is identical to canola oil produced from a conventional canola plant.
Food producers also understand that consumers are seeking meaningful information on food labels as food containing genetically modified ingredients becomes available on supermarket shelves.
To ensure that Australians can make informed choices about the food they choose for themselves and their families, food producers are required to label food that contains certain genetically modified ingredients, that is, food that contains so–called novel DNA or novel protein.