Brazil Recalling Unlabeled Transgenics

    Brazil’s Ministry of Justice ordered the impounding of genetically modified products that don’t carry this information on the label. Since April, 2003, all food products or ingredients intended for human or animal consumption in Brazil that contain more than 1 percent of transgenic components are required to convey this information to consumers on the label.

    On August 25, Consumer Protection agencies from nine Brazilian states conducted an inspection of supermarkets and gathered samples of 45 different types of soybean-derived products.

    If they discover any product containing a greater percentage of transgenic components than what the law permits without this information’s appearing on the label, the company can be required to answer an administrative process and is liable to a fine.

    The products that were collected will be tested in specialized laboratories in Brasí­lia. The result should be available in 30 days.

    “The idea is to analyze these 45 types of products in the initial phase and then verify other types of products, not for the companies to stop using them, but so that they label their products in order for consumers to be informed,” affirmed Daniel Goldberg, Secretary of Economic Rights in the Ministry of Justice.

    Earlier this year, Greenpeace protesters closed the entrance to the port of Paranaguá, in the southern state of Paraná in order to halt the unloading of a ship from Argentina carrying 30,000 tons of genetically-modified (GM) soybeans.

    They blocked the port with their ship, the “Artic Sunrise.” According to spokesmen for the protesters, the objective was to ensure that non-GM soybeans did not get contaminated by the GM soybeans.

    Greenpeace is calling its protest activities “A Better Brazil Without GM Crops.” Gabriela Vuolo, a scientist with Greenpeace, says that Brazil could lose its economic advantage as the world’s biggest exporter of non-GM soybeans if steps are not taken to prevent contamination.

    Agência Brasil


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