Australian Consumers Opt for Foods Labeled "Non-GMO"

Australian Consumers Opt for
Foods Labeled "Non-GMO"

Courier Mail
December 11, 2001, Tuesday
Consumers approve 'non-GM' products
by Siobhain Ryan, Paul Dyer

THE push to label genetically modified foods has spawned a new
marketing movement based on consumer preferences for non-GM products.

Supermarket shelves yesterday carried more foods promoted as "non-GM"
than those identified as GM under Australia's new labelling laws. Most
of the Sanitarium food range advertised the use of conventionally
farmed ingredients while other brands, such as Dick Smith, claimed the
same for one or more of its product lines.

But in a check of supermarket shelves made by The Courier-Mail, no
products identified any of their ingredients as transgenic, four days
into a new mandatory GM labelling regime.

Organic Federation of Australia chair Rod May said yesterday that it
was "quite clear that consumers have spoken" on the issue of
genetically engineered foods, expressing a preference now reflected in
the marketplace.

"Consumers have seen many instances in the past where food production
inputs, such as chemicals, have proven to be less than desirable in
hindsight," he said.

Sanitarium communications manager Julie Praeystiin said the company
had now built its policy of excluding genetically-engineered
ingredients into press and television advertising for its products.

She said the process of vetting ingredients began two years ago, with
the first products carrying non-GM labels coming out last year.

Lina Melero, corporate affairs manager for Goodman Fielder, said the
company was using only conventionally farmed ingredients in its
product lines.

"As Australia's largest food company, we take our responsibilities
very seriously and until such time as there is a benefit from GM
ingredients our policy is we won't be supplying those as part of our
product line," she said.

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