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Environment Minister supports choice for GM food

Environment Minister Marian Hobbs says it is irrelevant whether she would eat genetically modified food, the subject of questions in Parliament today.

"The simple fact is that any GM food on sale will have been judged safe and labelled so that customers can exercise choice," Marian Hobbs said. "Genetically modified fresh food is not sold in New Zealand but it is important that people can make an informed choice with any food containing GM material.

"If Food Standards Australia New Zealand says that GM food is safe to eat, then that's good enough for me.

"Since December 2001, food products containing genetically modified material have had to be labelled appropriately. All genetically modified foods or ingredients have to pass a safety check and be approved before being allowed in New Zealand.

"The government acted on a recommendation from the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification and ran a compliance check on the labelling requirements.

"An 18-month audit of manufacturers and importers revealed a high level of familiarity and compliance with the GM labelling standard and that there is no genetically modified food or ingredient in New Zealand that is not allowed to be here."

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