The food industry has campaigned long and hard to avoid having to disclose what goes into your food. Everyday Australians, like the Truefood Network, have campaigned for their fundamental right to know what they are eating.
The reviewers have picked sides, and they have chosen corporations over citizens.
There were over 6000 submissions to the review, and 85% of these asked for comprehensive disclosure of GE, additives, allergens and other technologies.
If you buy your groceries in London, Paris, or Munich, this stuff has been labelled for years.
The Australian Association of National Advertisers and the Australian Food and Grocery Council (AFGC), alongside companies like Pfizer and Dow Chemicals, focussed their campaign on minimising the "burden" on businesses over and above consumer rights.
They got what they asked for. You didn’t.
Neal Blewett has failed to close the loopholes in Australia’s GE labelling laws that leave Australians eating in the dark.
Multinational chemical companies like Monsanto love the loopholes in Australia’s GE labelling laws. If they claim the GE in their product got there by accident they don’t have to label it.
The review has put the commercial interests of US trade lobbyists, advertisers and the powerful food and chemical industry before Australian mums and dads; their right to know what they are feeding their families continues to be violated.
We reported last year on the US biotech industry submission to the Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement that sought to block labeling of GE and urged blind acceptance of biotech safety claims.
Our FOI request has revealed that all but one state, NSW, is failing to test our food for GE contamination. This means even the labelling laws we have now aren't being enforced.
The Blewett Review has sacrificed Australian parents’ right to know if they are feeding their children GE products that have never been proven safe to eat.
Greenpeace is co-ordinating a ‘Parents' Right to Know’ pledge in support of GE labelling endorsed by celebrity chefs, public health groups, community groups and politicians from all major parties. Signatories include Senator Nick Xenophon, the Public Health Association of Australia, Unions NSW and leading Australian chef, Peter Gilmore, of Quay restaurant.
Meanwhile, until governments at state and federal get serious about meeting their clear obligations to Aussie consumers, the Truefood Guide remains the best way Australians can find out whether they are eating these untested, unsustainable, anti-farmer ingredients. And that is unacceptable.
Click here if you're interested in reading the review's report and here if you would like to send an email to the Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Catherine King, letting her know what you think about the review's decision to leave our GM labelling loopholes opn.