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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2009 Week 2 Hansard (12 February) . . Page.. 825..

Food—genetically modified

(Question No 11)

Ms Bresnan asked the Minister for Health, upon notice, on 11 December 2008:

(1) Given that the Australia and New Zealand Food Regulation Ministerial Council (Food Regulation Ministerial Council) announced at its meeting in October 2008 that there would be a review of all food labelling, will this review also cover the labelling of genetically engineered (GE) food which currently does not require the labelling of highly processed products or products derived from animals fed GE food.

(2) What plans does the ACT Government have to progress the Australian Labor Party's National Platform and Constitution which states that Labor is committed to effective product labelling to ensure consumers can make informed choices, that food should be labelled to ensure consumers know both the ingredients and processes used and that Labor also supports the comprehensive labelling of genetically modified food.

(3) Given that although the ACT has a moratorium on GE crops, however GE canola and cottonseed products from NSW, Victoria and overseas may enter the ACT as ingredients in a wide range of processed food products, will the Government call for complete labelling of all genetically modified foods at the Food Regulation Ministerial Council, so that ACT families can choose to avoid these products.

Ms Gallagher: The answer to the member's question is as follows:

(1) Yes. It is understood that the proposed independent and comprehensive review of food labelling law and policy in Australia will cover the labelling of genetically modified (GM) food.

(2) The ACT Government is looking forward to carefully considering the outcomes of the proposed independent review of food labeling and policy and acting on the review's recommendations as part of the Australia and New Zealand food regulatory system.

(3) The ACT Government supports food labelling that provides consumers with essential information to make informed choices when buying food products. This includes labelling of GM food. The proposed comprehensive review of food labelling laws and policy is expected to consider a broad range of issues, including expansion or otherwise of the current labeling requirements for GM food. The ACT Government will consider recommendations from this review.

Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs

(Question No 12)

Mr Hanson asked the Minister for Indigenous Affairs, upon notice, on 11 December 2008:

(1) What proportion of funding was dedicated to the Office of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs in the 2008-09 Budget, as opposed to the areas of Multicultural Affairs, Women and Ageing.

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