Top chefs unite against GM foods

Posted by James Ferre on 30th May 2008

Over 50 of Australia’s most respected chefs have signed their names to a charter opposing GM food.

The ‘GM Free Chefs Charter’ has garnered great support, with more than 50 well-renowned chefs indicating their opposition to selling genetically modified (GM) food in their restaurants.

The Chefs Charter is an initiative of Greenpeace and was recently unveiled at Jared Ingersoll’s Danks Street Depot, attended by chefs from some of Sydney’s top restaurants.

Among the names to have signed up, according to Greenpeace, are: Rockpool’s Neil Perry, Barossa Valley restaurateur and producer Maggie Beer, Fifteen’s Tobie Puttock, Martin Boetz of Longrain, Taxi’s Michael Lambie and Matthew Moran of ARIA.

The charter calls for thorough labelling of all food products containing GM ingredients and opposes legislation in Victoria and NSW enabling the production of GM canola.

This year canola, which is used in a diverse range of foods, will be genetically modified in Australia for the first time.

Victorian and New South Wales farmers are to be permitted to grow GM canola but, under current laws, foods with the GM canola included in them will not be required to include a label indicating the product has ingredients that have been genetically modified.

Greenpeace, with the assistance of the Chefs Charter, is requesting the federal government introduce labelling of all GM foods and food products derived from GM crops to enable Australians to be able to avoid GM ingredients if they want to.

The charter also claims that Australia could gain a competitive advantage over many other regions by remaining GM free. “In the US and the EU, and across the world the great growth area is in clean, green food products. We believe that it is not wise to give up our global, unrestricted GM free marketing advantage, particularly when the long term implications of GM food manufacture and consumption are not yet known,” the charter declares.

The Chefs Charter, which Greenpeace believe will continue to grow, will be delivered to Australian governments later this year.