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Government tightens law on GM declaration

The government is taking a tougher stand on GM declaration Keystone

The Swiss government has decided to tighten the declaration of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food to conform to European Union norms

This content was published on January 26, 2005 - 14:36

The new legislation, which offers greater transparency with labelling, will allow consumers to see a clear difference between genetically modified and unmodified foods.

Cabinet decided on Wednesday to change the current regulation dating from July 1999, which obliges producers of foodstuffs containing more than one per cent of added GMOs to declare it on the packaging.

From March 1, the new threshold value will be 0.9 per cent.

The regulation requires producers to compile detailed documentation about the use of genetically modified organisms during production, so that GMOs can be accurately traced in the food supply chain.

Producers are also obliged to inform consumers on the label if a product contains genetically altered ingredients.

For example, soya oil made from genetically modified soya beans will have to be declared as such on the product label.

The new regulation, which is in line with EU legislation, is a result of the new law on genetic engineering that came in force in January 2004.

A 12-month period of transition will allow food producers and shops to adapt to the new norms.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

The regulation aims at giving more transparency to consumers on the packaging of foodstuffs.
It should be clear if foodstuffs contain GMOs.
The threshold limit for declaring GM food has been lowered from 1.0% to 0.9%.

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