Food Law News - UK - 2010

FSA Enforcement Letter (ENF/E/10/044), 5 November 2010

GM FOOD - GM Labelling requirements for catering establishments

This letter is addressed to Local Authority Enforcement Officers and Nominated Officers for Food in England only. A recent survey of catering establishments by Trading Standards South East (TSSE) found that of the 235 caterers visited 131(56%) were using oil labelled as genetically modified (GM) but not informing consumers of this fact. The premises visited included fish and chip shops, kebab shops, burger vans, takeaways and pubs/restaurants. We would urge you when visiting such premises to remind food business operators (FBOs) of their obligations regarding the labelling of GM products, including those cooked in oil derived from GM organisms (GMOs).

The report and press release can be viewed on the TSSE website at:

You may already be aware of this problem, but we would like to remind you that GM foods (containing or consisting of GMOs, produced from GMOs or containing ingredients produced from GMOs) delivered as such to the final consumer or to mass caterers must be labelled in accordance with articles 12 and 13 of Regulation (EC) No. 1829/2003, regardless of whether or not the final product contains DNA or protein resulting from genetic modification. The labelling requirement therefore includes highly refined products, such as oil obtained from GMOs such as maize, oilseed rape and soya beans. In addition, article 4 of Regulation (EC) No. 1830/2003 requires operators to ensure that, 'non-pre-packaged products consisting of, or containing, GMOs offered to the final consumer are labelled at the point of display (e.g. either on, or in connection with, the display of the product).' FBOs using cooking oil derived from authorised GMOs should communicate this to their customers either by including this information on the menu card, display case or at the till (i.e. 'at the point of sale'), to allow consumers to make an informed choice.

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