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The issue of genetic engineering has always been a very controversial one The cloning of Dolly the sheep was hailed as a revolutionary breakthrough by scientists while many groups were sceptical about its repercussions Only recently however has the topic of genetically creating and modifying foods come to public attention Despite the relative youth of the issue it has caused much debate among various groups worldwide As of now there is no legislation in Australia prohibiting the selling of genetically modified or produced food This is greatly due to the numerous and varied arguments in favour of and against genetically modifying foods There is however legislation pertaining to GM foods by way of the Food Standards Code The Australia New Zealand Food Authority ANZFA completed in 1998 its assessment of the proposal to establish a standard to regulate food produced using gene technology ANZFA recommended to the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Council ANZFSC that it adopt the standard into the Food Standards Code In Australia the standard Standard A18 was gazetted as Amendment 40 to the Food Standards Code published on the 13th of August 1998 This standard made it illegal to sell any food produced using gene technology unless an application was made to the ANZFA and approval subsequently given by the ANZFSCANZFA had several reasons for recommending the standard The main reason was that it felt that the then regulatory framework was inadequate to ensure that foods produced using gene technology underwent a safety assessment before they were released onto the market The standard also establishes a mechanism whereby consumers can be confident that the safety of foods produced using gene technology would be fully assessed before they are made available for sale Industry would also be provided with a clear regulatory pathway for the assessment of food produced using gene technology The final reason given by ANZFA was that consumers would have access to accurate information including labelling on foods produced
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