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Brazil orders Nestlé to label GM products

By Rod Addy , 27-Aug-2012
Last updated on 27-Aug-2012 at 18:08 GMT

A court in Brazil has ordered Nestlé to impose mandatory labelling for all its products in the country highlighting more than 1% genetically modified (GM) ingredients.

The move overturned a joint initiative by food industry trade body ABIA and the Brazilian government to battle current GM labelling rules.

The Sao Paolo court also ordered the international food manufacturer to pay R5,000 (€1,996) per product found on the market that contravened the order.

The case was brought after an analysis had found GM ingredients in the composition of Nestlé’s strawberry flavour Bono cookies. More than half the soybeans used in manufacturing the biscuit were found to be GM in nature, but the packaging failed to mention this fact, a civil investigation found.

Lack of information

This lack of information contravened Article 31 of Brazil’s Consumer Protection Code, which addresses consumer information.

In his ruling, Judge James Ducatti Lino Machado, of the 39th Central Civil Court, said: "The prosecutor's action does not produce any interference with the production of the indictee (Nestlé)."

The regional federal court of the 1st Region tried this case. In a statement based on its decision, the court said: "Lower percentage does not eliminate the right to know for the consumer.”

Nestlé had not provided a response to the development prior to FoodNavigator being published. 

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