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[29 MAR 99] WARWICKSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL PRESS RELEASE
Food Tests Reveal 25% With GM Ingredients

Test conducted by Warwickshire Trading Standards on 20 different food products revealed that five of the samples, including cheeseburgers in a bun, pork sausages, and vegetarian ‘bacon’ contained genetically modified ingredients.

Trading Standards Officers visited shops, supermarkets, restaurants, fast food outlets and garage forecourts during February and purchased a large range of foods including burgers, crisps, tomato ketchup, cornflakes, and cakes. A screening test for genetically modified ingredients revealed that five of the products, a microwaveable cheeseburger in a bun, a pack of skinless pork sausages, a Soya dessert, a Soya concentrate, and a pack of vegetarian ‘bacon’ registered positive for GM ingredients.

None of the products tested were at the time of purchase required to be labelled ‘contains GM ingredients’, but new legislation which came in to force on Friday 19 March now requires that all products which contain genetically modified maize or Soya, must be labelled. Failure to do so could lead to prosecution and a fine of up to 5000.

Warwickshire Trading Standards departments will now be conducting further tests on foods to ensure that companies comply with the law, and will be sharing their results with four other county Trading Standards departments who each have access to a new, confidential product samples database. The database, launched last October will allow all the participating counties to benefit from each others research, and so avoid duplication.

NOTES

  • The new regulations enable local authorities to enforce an EC Regulation on the labelling of foodstuffs containing genetically modified Soya and maize.
  • The regulations impose penalties of up to 5000 for each product not properly labelled.
  • Warwickshire Trading Standards Department have assisted the BBC’s Panorama current affairs programme on a feature on GM foods. Due to be broadcast on Monday 29 March 1999.

More Information:
Simon Cripwell, Warwickshire Trading Standards, Senior Information Officer 01926 414039
Noel Hunter, County Trading Standards Officer 01926 414040

         

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CWN / Politics / Warwickshire County Council / 29 Mar 99

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