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  • The Wall Street Journal reports that the European Union now has new regulations that “require labels that alert European consumers when a product contains as little as 0.9% genetically modified ingredients. Farmers and food packagers everywhere will have to maintain paper trails on genetically altered food products -- tracking ingredients from field to store shelf -- if they are destined to end up in Europe.”

    While the rules are strict, they actually represent a newly “open door” for producers of bioengineered food “to battle for consumers in one of the world's biggest, albeit toughest, markets. And those millions of shoppers, who have largely shunned genetically modified foods, may be forced to swallow the notion that unmodified foods are becoming increasingly rare.”

  • The Canadian government has passed legislation saying that food products containing small amounts of genetically modified material – defined as less than five percent of accidental co-mingling - can be labeled as GM-free.

KC's View:
While we have to admit to being skeptical about the Canadian approach, we think the ultimate arbiter of whether these policies are appropriate to their locales will be consumers and voters.

On the basis of this, we suspect that there will be more blow-back in the EU than Canada. But time will tell whether consumer sensitivity to GMOs in the EU will subside.