Failure to mention GM ingredients in soya mince led to a £16,000 pay-out for the retailer responsible.
Who: Warwickshire Trading Standards and East End Foods of West Bromwich
Where: Stratford upon Avon Magistrates' Court
When: March 2002
According to a report in TS Today, a UK court has handed down the first fine for failing to correctly label a product as containing genetically modified ingredients. In February 2001 Warwickshire Trading Standards Officers bought a packet of "East End Soya Mince" from a supermarket in Leamington Spa. Although it was not labelled as containing any GM ingredients, on testing the pack was found to contain over 50% GM material. East End Foods pleaded guilty of an offence under regulation 7 of the Genetically Modified and Novel Food (Labelling) (England) Regulations 2000 and were fined £4,000 and ordered to pay £12,000 in costs.
Why this matters:
Amidst all the furore about GM crops, some may not have noticed the introduction of draconian regulations affecting how foods containing more than a minimal amount of genetically modified ingredients must be labelled. This case underlines that these regulations have teeth and substantial fines are likely to be levied on those who break the rules.