Q: What does the law say about the labelling of genetically modified products? When must companies label their products?

The Consumer Protection Act governs the labelling of genetically modified products. But the rules are decidedly narrower (at the moment) than people might expect. It only applies to maize, cotton and soy and it is not clear whether it applies to good that have maize, cotton or soy as ingredients. In short, the rule is that if the product has more than 5% genetically modified organisms in it, it has to be labelled. The label must say: ‘Contains Genetically Modified Organisms’.

The legislature is aware that the law as it stands is unclear and hard to apply. An amendment to the existing regulations was proposed in May 2013 already. It seems that this amendment has stalled. In the meantime the issues around GMO’s continue to evoke considerable (and often emotional) responses from the public and anti-GMO activists.

If you want to read more about product labelling see Chapter 5 of Consumer Law Unlocked.

Consumer Law Unlocked webConsumer Law Unlocked by Elizabeth de Stadler provides a comprehensive overview of consumer law – not just the Act – in a way that follows the typical chain of transactions. No business or professional advisor should be without it.

Consumer Law Unlocked is available to purchase here

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