Government must act by passing legislation to regulate GM foods

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 06 June, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 06 June, 2002, 12:00am

I am strongly dissatisfied with the Government after its lack of support for the regulation of genetically modified foods. In January 2000, the Legislative Council supported, by a majority of votes, a motion demanding mandatory labelling of genetically modified foods. Yet the Government has been dragging its feet. As a result, there is still no legal regulation of GM food products in Hong Kong.

More than 35 governments worldwide have passed laws to regulate the environmental and food safety risks of GM good, including European Union countries, China, Poland, Russia and Latvia. Scientists have pointed out that eating GM food can have disastrous effects not only to human health, but also to global ecology.

Hong Kong continues to receive GM foods, ranging from cereals and bread to ice-cream. Does this mean that Asian countries have to be the white mice for the experiments taken on GM food?

If I had not browsed through the Greenpeace Web site for a project, I would not have realised that I am actually eating food that might affect the antibiotic system in my body and even trigger new allergy reactions.

I believe that the Government has the responsibility of labelling GM food, so that we have a choice. Hong Kong may be a world class city, but its Government cannot even tell its citizens what kinds of foodstuff are genetically engineered through a labelling system that developing countries like China and Russia already have.

In the long run, we might even frighten tourists as they might be eating tomatoes containing genes of spiders and centipedes. So for the sake of Hong Kong, do not just focus on making laws to lower the wages of civil servants, but also make laws to label GM food.


Kowloon Tong