The letter enclosed draft guidance notes intended to provide clarification for enforcement bodies and industry on the requirements of legislation for the approval of novel foods and the labelling of GM soya and maize. Comments on these notes are requested by 16 June 1999. It is intended to publish the guidance notes by the end of June. The notes have been produced with the aim of providing informal, non-statutory guidance to be read in conjunction with the appropriate legislation. They should not be taken as an authoritative statement or interpretation of the law, as only the courts have this power. Every effort has been made to ensure that these guidance notes are as helpful as possible. However, ultimately it is the responsibility of individual businesses, in consultation with their Local Authority Trading Standards departments, as necessary, to decide the most appropriate way forward.
The Food Labelling (Amendment) Regulations 1999 (SI 1999 No 747) came into force in Great Britain on 19 March this year. These provide the means for local authorities to be able to enforce EC Regulation 1139/98 on the labelling of foodstuffs containing genetically modified (GM) soya or maize which took effect last September.