Mums taking action to label genetically modified infant formula

Posted by Josette Dunn on 27th September 2010

Aussie mums are undertaking DIY labelling of contaminated baby food this morning, after tests showed one of Australia’s leading infant formulas contains a number of unlabelled genetically modified products.

Milk splash

Activists in Sydney and Melbourne have taken food safety into their own hands and labelled the baby formula, S-26 Soy, clearly tagging it as genetically modified and giving parents the right to choose.

At 9am this morning, mothers entered a major Woolworth’s outlet in Sydney and Coles’ Fitzroy store in Melbourne to stage a sit in. They are demanding that supermarkets remove the products from the shelves until proper testing and labelling has been undertaken.

Greenpeace Australia Pacific commissioned a series of tests to determine the safety of a number of infant formulas used by Australian mothers. Breast milk replacement formula S26 Soy – produced by American pharmaceutical company Pfizer – was found to be contaminated with GM on three occasions, as was revealed on the Channel Seven’s Sunday program last night.

The product carries no warning or information labels to tell mums the product had been genetically modified.

“Australian mums have been kept in the dark about feeding this genetically modified product to their babies,” said Greenpeace CEO Dr. Linda Selvey.

“Obviously the health and safety of Australian children is the responsibility of the Federal Minister for Health, Nicola Roxon,” said Greenpeace CEO, Dr. Linda Selvey. “It’s fundamental to give consumers the right to choose by properly identifying products containing GM ingredients.

“These new inventions have not undergone any of the rigorous testing necessary to establish their risk profile and safety for adults, let alone babies,” said Dr Selvey. “Australian parents have the right to know what they are feeding their kids and how safe it is.”

Greenpeace is currently receiving advice on the potential for legal action to require proper enforcement of State and Federal GM labelling laws.

“We need the Government to ensure all foods containing GM product are labelled – with no exceptions. We need them to follow through and introduce rigorous and regular testing and prosecution of companies that continually re-offend. Australian babies deserve this level of protection.

“Mums do their utmost to make sure they are offering the best for their baby. It is unthinkable to most parents that they could have been feeding their newborn GM products without knowing it. They deserve immediate action from the Australian government,” said Dr Selvey.