questions + answers
- What is genetic engineering (GE)?
- How does it differ from cross-breeding or other forms of biotechnology?
- Which foods are currently genetically engineered?
- Who is behind GE foods?
- Are GE crops grown in Australia?
- How do GE crops affect the environment?
- What are the health concerns?
- Are GE crops good for farmers?
- Will GE crops feed the world?
- Are GE foods labelled?
- What is organic food?
- Why is animal feed important?
- Does GE food have any health benefits?
The labelling of GE food in Australia is extremely limited and excludes some of the most basic and universally used ingredients. This is despite recent polls indicating that 90% of all Australians want comprehensive labelling for these foods.
GE ingredients appear as hidden ingredients in processed foods, as well as in the meat, eggs and milk produced from animals fed on GE grains. Under Australian labelling laws, only foods where GE proteins can be detected need to be labelled.
Many foods are exempt from labelling requirements.
- Products derived from animals fed GE feed (such as meat, milk, eggs and honey).
- Highly refined GE ingredients (such as cooking oils, sugars, starches) — most processed foods fall into this category and contain some kind of oil or starch.
- Food prepared at bakeries, restaurants and takeaways.
- Foods that are “unintentionally” contaminated with up to 1% GE contamination per ingredient.