Nestlé taken to court over GM mislabelling
mislabelling a milkshake drink. A mother in China discovered that
Nesquik powder that she bought for her three-year-old son contained
GM ingredients only after looking on the company's website.
In the European Union there are tight rules that govern the labelling of GM ingredients that have been well maintained in recent years by food companies. However, in countries outside the EU food producers have been slacker with product labelling.
The discovery led the mother to take the case to the Shanghai 2 People's Intermediate Court last year. When Yanling queried the non-labelling with the company she was told that Nestlé did not label its products with GM notices in China because the laws did not require them to do so.
In Europe GM ingredient resistance is strong and this is a reflection of the ever growing health conscious consumer. At present the EU has the toughest rules on labelling food products and the rules will be updated in April of this year.
Greenpeace has been campaigning globally to eradicate GM ingredients from foods in recent years and it claims that companies are employing double standards" in labelling products that are sold in countries outside Europe. The environmental pressure group has said that it is committed to supporting Yanling's case.
This case indicates the growing trend of consumer awareness in urban consumers outside the EU. In 2002 Nestlé was found selling products with unlabelled GM ingredients in China. 500 consumers registered their complaints on a Chinese website.
A date for the court case is at present undecided.