From a facebook photo

What Labeling of US food looks like in Australia... Raw for beauty blog

Facebook image, relevant text below

The picture contains a purported list of ingredients for frosting in Australia:

INGREDIENTS: SUGAR, CORN SYRUP (GENETICALLY MODIFIED), [lots of other ingredients, with many saying "(GENETICALLY MODIFIED)" after them]

Near the bottom, is "Made in the U.S.A.", and overlaid text of "EVERYONE DESERVES THE RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT IS IN THEIR FOOD!", and in the top right corner is "U.S.A .LABELS GMOS.. exported to other countries like Australia"

Are GMO ingredients labelled this way in Australia?


1 Answer 1



From Food Standards Australia New Zealand (the body that has been delegated the authority to develop standards to ensure a high standard of public health protection throughout Australia and New Zealand):

GM foods, ingredients, additives, or processing aids that contain novel DNA or protein must be labelled with the words ‘genetically modified’.

Quoting directly from the standards (Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code - Standard 1.5.2 - Food Produced Using Gene Technology), at paragraph 5:

5 Labelling of genetically modified food

The label on a package of genetically modified food must include the statement ‘genetically modified’ in conjunction with the name of that food or ingredient or processing aid.

  • 1
    I'm surprised at this, as I live in Australia and don't see things labelled as genetically modified, but I guess I have to accept this as the truth. Maybe I haven't seen any such labels because I'm not eating any food with novel DNA or protein.
    – Golden Cuy
    Jun 23, 2013 at 1:08
  • 1
    I too am Australian & am very surprised to read this because I have never seen labelling like this. Every time soy or canola is on a label it never says its gmo...so I doubt this labelling requirement is being followed.
    – user17142
    Jan 14, 2014 at 21:51
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    What does "novel DNA or protein" mean? If I modify an organism by adding DNA from another organism, is that novel or not? The particular DNA segment already existed, after all. And if it refers to the entirety of the organism's DNA, then isn't every non-clone individual "novel"?
    – KSmarts
    May 7, 2015 at 19:50
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    @cnst High-fructose corn syrup is the result of a process applied to regular corn syrup made from regular corn. There may be corn out there modified such that syrup made from it is “high fructose” to begin with, but that’s not the norm, and I kind of suspect it isn’t the case since it would be an awful lot of research and development to eliminate a fairly inexpensive step in the overall process of getting syrup from corn. Besides, we already have a plant that can be made into high-fructose syrup directly: it’s called sugar cane.
    – KRyan
    Jun 4, 2015 at 20:12
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    @KSmarts Yes, the law is stupid, as is the general panic regarding genetically-modified foods. Are DNA or proteins novel if I achieve them through a systemized breeding program? Humanity has been genetically modifying its food sources for millenia, and the overwhelming majority of food in our diets has been genetically-modified for almost as long. The new approach to achieving changes to genetics are not substantially different, aside from their speed. (Now, if someone wants to boycott Monsanto’s GMOs on economic/ethical grounds, that I’m all for.)
    – KRyan
    Jun 4, 2015 at 20:17

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