The Guide was launched today by celebrated chef Martin Boetz (Longrain Bar & Restaurant), Australian cook and food icon Margaret Fulton, and Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore MP as part of the Sydney International Food Festival.
The Guide rates over 1000 of Australia's top food and beverage brands for the presence of GE ingredients. It is the only comprehensive shopping guide that empowers Australians to avoid GE food.
» Search the Guide for your favourite brands
Why the Truefood Guide is important
This year GE canola will find its way into common food products in Australia for the first time – foods like pasta sauces, breads, cakes, baby food, oils and margarines. This is because NSW and Victoria have started commercially growing small amounts of GE canola.
"Genetically engineered food has not been proven safe to eat and almost all GE foods aren't labelled. Our families are taking part in a giant, uncontrolled experiment," says Greenpeace GE campaigner Rochelle Porteous. "But people can vote with their wallet to choose non-GE food."
Food industry concerned
The food industry has echoed these concerns over GE ingredients in our food.
Martin Boetz is one of 180 Australian chefs to sign the GE-free Chefs Charter, standing alongside chefs such as Tobie Puttock, Stephanie Alexander, Kylie Kwong and Christine Mansfield.
"We have no knowledge of the long-term side effects on our bodies and the environment of consuming GE food, and I do not wish to promote this in my cookery," says Boetz.
"Foster's is pleased to clarify that the ingredients used to produce our Australian beer and wine portfolio are non-GE." - Scott Delzoppo, Sustainability Manager of Foster's Group
Since the release of the first Truefood Guide in 2003, more than half of Australia's top food brands have committed to removing GE ingredients from their food and beverage brands. Most recently, Nestlé, Schweppes, Lindt and Foster's.
"Foster's is pleased to clarify that the ingredients used to produce our Australian beer and wine portfolio are non-GE," Scott Delzoppo, Sustainability Manager of Foster's Group said. "We recognise this area is highly complex and of concern to our consumers and we will continue to work with our suppliers to maintain the highest quality standards and ingredient integrity."
Consumer rejection of GE food
Opinion polls show the majority of consumers don't want to eat GE food and 90 per cent want it labelled. In the coming months, Greenpeace will campaign to ensure the recently announced COAG food labelling review protects consumers' right to choose safe, non-GE food and doesn't leave Australians eating in the dark.