Mexico to further regulate GE food ingredients

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Mexico to further regulate GE food ingredients

The government of Mexico officially published the General Law on Appropriate and Sustainable Food (LGAAS by its Spanish acronym). This seeks to “enshrine socioeconomic considerations into national food policy,” a USDA report detailing the enactment said. 

The broad law provides a legal instrument to modify or add to current Mexican laws and national food policy. It will focus on establishing mandatory warning labeling for products containing genetically engineered ingredients and improving food security.  

Additionally, the law creates a legal mechanism for the State to ensure that all Mexicans are provided with “culturally appropriate food”. This will be ensured via various policies such as government social programs, restaurant and school regulations, and state-sponsored grain reserves.

The law also establishes state-sponsored granaries and the use of the precautionary principle. According to Article 5 of the LGAAS, this means that State authorities are now obligated to promote, respect, and protect the exercise of the right to appropriate food through precaution.

As for genetically engineered ingredients, Article 21 of the newly enacted law states that “Producers and distributors of processed foods must warn, in addition to the elements required in Article 212 of the General Health Law, if its products contain ingredients that directly derive from using genetically modified organisms in terms of the Law.”

The formulation of the law was led by a broad coalition of social movements, senators, and activists within the Mexican government.

LGAAS entered into force on April 18. Implementation rules will be established within 180 days after the law's entry into force.

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