An international agreement was reached, which will allow countries to label GE foods without facing legal challenges from the World Trade Organization, Truthout reports. The Codex Alimentarius Commission, which is composed of food safety regulators from more than 100 countries, adopted the guidance document during its annual summit in Geneva, Switzerland. The guidance does not mandate the labeling of GE foods, but allows countries to develop their own labeling policies. The USA delegation to the Codex Commission reportedly reversed its position on the guidance document, allowing for the commission to reach consensus after 20 years of debate.
"Peru's recent introduction of GM food labeling faced the threat of a legal challenge from the WTO," said Edita Vilcapoma, a spokesperson for a Peruvian consumer group. "This new Codex agreement now means that this threat has gone and the consumer right to be informed has been secured. This is major victory for the global consumers movement." Consumer groups across the world have called for foods containing GE ingredients to be labeled as such for years, and therefore consumer advocacy groups are hailing the Codex agreement as a milestone for consumers' rights, and pointing out that labeling will lead to better oversight of GE food products.