January 15, 2009
US biotech sector protests over GM-free labelling
US biotech producers are opposing the labelling of food products as "GM-free", saying it gives a misleading idea that GM foods are inferior to non-GM food.
A non-GM label leads consumers to believe there is a difference between GM and non-GM products, where there is no difference, said biotech industry representative Bill Olsen.
All GM foods go through a strict regulatory process and to suggest they were inferior was seen as misleading.
Olsen said the biotech industry was optimistic that consumers would accept the technology once they understood that it could help overcome droughts and was positive for the environment.
Ultimately it will come down to what must be done to provide for a booming world population, as the amount of crop and grazing land is not increasing alongside rising population, said Olsen.
EU Commission official Dan Rotenberg also projected a gradual acceptance of GM crops in the EU.
"The EU must accept biotech food and feed, or it won't be able to feed its livestock," Rotenberg said.