Having a GE-Free policy means a company has a genuine commitment to supplying GE-Free foods.

Companies need to go beyond the low-level standards set by FSANZ and take care to avoid GE contamination through all possible means.

All possible means includes:

.using organic ingredients that are produced to comply with national and international standards such as IFOAM which do not permit GE-ingredients in organic products.

. requiring all suppliers to provide “Identity-Preserved” ingredients which are kept separate from GE-products. This requirement should be a backed up with a legal contract requiring best practice systems to avoid GE contamination and that these be regularly checked to ensure compliance.

.formulating products to remove ingredients likely to be at risk of GE contamination. These at-risk ingredients include milk, cheese, eggs, or meat produced using GE animal feed, and soy, canola and maize produced in conventional farming and not protected by a “Identity Preserved” system.

.sourcing ingredients from locations where there’s no GE production so the risk of contamination is reduced. There are many countries including New Zealand, Europe, Africa and Asia where GE-Free zones have been declared to keep food clear of GE-contamination.

Why are there no guarantees?

Having a GE-Free policy does not mean a company can guarantee it will not be accidentally contaminated by GE ingredients.

That’s because since the late 1990’s authorities in New Zealand and overseas have been approving products from GE organisms that have spread through the food chain despite their best efforts to prevent contamination.

More effort is needed to stop GE contamination becoming more widespread, and to ensure people have a choice to buy GE-Free food for themselves and their families.

That’s why it is important for companies to commit to trying to be GE-Free if they wish to, and for consumers to support them.

The good news is that most food in the world today is GE-Free.

But incidents of accidental contamination have occurred in just a few crops like corn canola, soy and rice.

Australian wheat could be next, though consumers around the world are saying no, Australia may be about to sell out it’s export sector and allow GE wheat.

HIGHER RISK 

A few countries have adopted open production of GE crops making the risk of contamination much more likely.

United States (especially soy, canola, rice, maize, milk)

Canada (canola)

Argentina (soy)

Smaller scale GE production is also occurring in South Africa (soy) and Spain (maize). According to the Biotech industry, the list – and the risk of contamination- is growing all the time, but they refuse to accept responsibility.

China has rejected some GE crops but not others. There is concern that China food exports and food safety will be seriously damaged if GE rice is approved.

Some food-additives, enzymes and even yeasts have been produced through genetic engineering and manufacturers should exclude them.