Lawmaker questions transgenic food products safety

Lawmaker Mak Soi Kun has asked the relevant authorities to explain how the government is ensuring Macau’s food safety, in particular for imported foods.

“Recently, media reports said that Chinese scientists have announced that the world’s first gene-edited baby was born in mainland China, and it is a twin baby girl whose genetics have been modified to have natural resistance to AIDS. The occurrence of [the] gene-edited baby has caused heated talks on genes within the scientific community and the society,” the lawmaker wrote in his inquiry to the government.

“Macau is a place which imports diverse kinds of food. Even though the government claims that the producers have [an] obligation to recall food that is transgenic […], what kind of inspection technology and what kind of standards is the government using to identify whether or not currently imported transgenic food poses an impact on residents?” Mak asked.

“The government’s reply [to my previous inquiry] declared that in regards to whether there is a need to attach transgenic food information on the food product’s ingredients display, the government will continue to be in close contact with relevant technological departments. It means that, currently, in Macau, imported food does not even have any labels about transgenic food products,” he added.

“How can the government help the public to have peace of mind and rest assured when buying food?” Mak asked.

“Some residents deem gene a terrific word, but ordinary residents do not know about genes. In the absence of transgenic labels, it is inevitable that residents will worry about their health when they [do not know more about the food],” said the lawmaker. “Residents even worry that genetic variations might occur. However, other countries and regions, such as U.S. and Germany, regulate and label transgenic foods.”

Categories Macau