Labelling a key concern for Canadians
biotechnology in 2001, according to the FoodBiotechnology
Canadians have made labelling the number one issue related to foodbiotechnology in 2001, according to the FoodBiotechnology Communications Network. "Of all the questions coming to our Information Centre this year, labelling is the number one interest of Canadians," says Jeanne Cruikshank, Chair of the FoodBiotechnology Communications Network. "It is clear, however, from the conversations that ourstaff have with callers that the issue goes beyond the need for a simplelabel on a product. Canadians want to understand the debate."Cruikshank added. In a recent statement the Network claimed that considerable efforts have been directed toward the issue of labelling in 2001. Both the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee released expert panel reports on biotechnology that discussed labelling. A Canadian GeneralStandards Board committee representing diverse perspectives is now nearingthe completion of a voluntary standard for labelling, designed to complementexisting mandatory labelling requirements. Most recently, Charles Caccia's private member's bill C-287 for themandatory labelling of genetically modified foods was defeated.The Standing Committee on Health will now begin a detailed study of theissue in the spring of 2002. "These efforts have only increased the number of questions that Canadianshave about labelling and biotechnology," says Ms. Cruikshank. " I would encourage anyone to contact the Centre to discuss their questions about labelling, or any other food biotechnology issue". The Centre is staffed by food and health professionals torespond to questions about the development of GM labelling in Canada andinternationally. The Canadian toll-free number is 1-877-366-3246.