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Thailand - GM food labeling


Sep 12, 2022

This study attempts to analyze Thai consumers’ responses to various GM labeling policies, including the one currently imposed by the Thai government. The Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) in Thailand, which is responsible for ensuring consumer safety in food consumption, has issued the “Announcement of the MOPH (No. 251) B.E. 2545 (2002)” regarding the presentation of GM food labeling. Its mandatory labeling policy disallows the use of labels stating “no GMO” or “GMO free.” Coverage is restricted to twenty two food categories which contain the ingredients of soybean and corn, such as cooked soybean, soybean milk, popcorn, tofu, and corn starch. Specifically, if a food item has any DNA or protein derived from GM or genetic engineering of at least 5% of its top three ingredients, its label must clearly show the words “genetically modified” in the list of ingredients; for example, “chilled tofu made from genetically modified corn.” Unfortunately, a previous survey revealed that although 80% of the respondents had some knowledge about GM plants or foods, only half of them knew about the GM food label policy, and 81% had never seen food with a GM content label (Foundation for Consumers, 2007). In addition, most consumers were not satisfied with the current regulation; 35% preferred the removal of the 5% threshold level, 31% would like to see a more visible label, and 30% did not wish the coverage to be limited only to soybeans and corn.

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