Revised Draft of Food Safety Law: Genetically Modified Food Should be Labeled as Required

Original Article from CIRS

The 12th session of the Standing Committee of the 12th National People’s Congress was held on 22 December 2014. The second revision of Food Safety Law was submitted to the Committee.

In the past two decades, genetically modified food (GMF) was loaded with controversy in China. The trace of transgenosis appeared in many kinds of commercially available blend oils, however, most of them were not conspicuously labeled.

To protect the consumers’ rights, the revised Food Safety Law stipulated that GMFs should be correctly labeled according to The Regulations of Genetically Modified Organism in Agriculture. If the GMF products are not properly labeled or the label doesn’t comply with the stipulation, the distributors will have their illegal profits confiscated, and will be fined for not more than ten times of their illegal profits. Moreover, severe violation or refusing to rectification will lead to the revoking of the distributors’ licenses.

So far, there are four kinds of GMO Labeling Management internationally:

  1. In USA, Canada and Argentina all GMO products can be labeled voluntarily;
  2. In Europe, GMO products should be labeled when transgenic ingredients exceed a threshold value;
  3. In Japan, only certain products should be labeled demonstrating that the transgenic ingredients exceed a threshold value;
  4. In China, any product containing transgenic ingredients should be labeled according to relevant regulations.

In accordance with Regulations of Genetically Modified Organism in Agriculture, the following are the GMF labeling requirements in China:

  • Chinese Mandatory Labeled Genetically Modified Product List
  1. Soybean seed, soybean, soybean flour, soybean oil, soybean meal
  2. Corn seed, corn, corn oil, corn flour (including corn flours with TAX No. 1022000, 11031300 and 11042300)
  3. Rape seed, rape, canola oil, rape seed meal
  4. Cotton seed
  5. Tomato seed, fresh tomato, tomato sauce

  • Labeling Method
  1. Genetically modified animals, plants, micro organisms and their products or breeding animals, seeds, aquatic fingerling pesticides, veterinary medicines, fertilizers and additives with transgenic ingredients should be labeled as ‘转基因××’.
  2. Directly processed products made from raw materials of GMOs should be labeled as ‘加工原料为转基因××’.
  3. Products made from GMOs, but the final product does not contain transgenic ingredients should be labeled as ‘本产品为转基因××加工制成,但本产品中已不再含有转基因成份’.


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