Magazine article SourceMex Economic News & Analysis on Mexico

Mexican Senate Votes to Require Labeling Foods Containing Genetically Modified Ingredients

Magazine article SourceMex Economic News & Analysis on Mexico

Mexican Senate Votes to Require Labeling Foods Containing Genetically Modified Ingredients

Article excerpt

The Mexican Senate has approved legislation requiring labeling of all foods that contain genetically modified ingredients. The bill, approved unanimously by the upper house, was expected to gain easy approval in the Chamber of Deputies.

The measure is consistent with the UN biosafety protocol adopted at a meeting of 140 national representatives in Montreal in January of this year. Several European countries already require labeling of genetically modified foods.

Sen. Samuel Aguilar, chair of the Senate health committee (Comision de Salud), said the measure requires domestic food manufacturers and importers to identify genetically modified food products. He said the bill does not aim to halt technological progress, but merely to provide the most information possible to Mexican consumers.

"We are looking after the right to information and the health of Mexicans," said Aguilar, a member of the governing Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI).

Groups renew demand for ban on genetically modified corn

The Senate decision, approved 95-0, could be the first step in regulating or prohibiting genetically modified corn imports. Environmental groups such as Grupo de los Cien and Greenpeace Mexico have been seeking such a ban, arguing that imports of genetically modified corn from the US could threaten Mexico's agricultural diversity and the endangered monarch butterfly (see SourceMex, 1999-10-13).

Greenpeace Mexico applauded the Senate decision to require labeling genetically modified food, saying it "recognizes the concerns expressed by diverse social sectors. …

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