'Genetically modified' (gm) means an organism, such as a plant or a bacterium, the genotype of which has been modified using genetic technology. The abbreviation 'gmo' (genetically modified organism) means a living organism that is capable of reproduction (including seeds). Genetically modified food and genetically modified food ingredients either contain genetically modified material or are produced from such material.
Genetically modified food is safe
Under Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, genetically modified organisms or food may not be placed on the market unless they have been authorised in the EU. All genetically modified material is subject to a strict approval procedure in the EU, which includes a statement prepared by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on the safety of the genetically modified product. Approved genetically modified material does not have any adverse effects on human, animal or environmental health.
If the food is genetically modified, this must be indicated on the labelling
Consumers must be provided with information about the genetically modified species used in the production of the foodstuff concerned or the ingredients produced from them in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003. The words 'genetically modified' or 'produced from genetically modified soya beans', for example, must appear in the list of ingredients on the food packaging immediately following the genetically modified ingredient or the ingredients produced from a genetically modified species.
Control of genetically modified food
The control of genetically modified food is part of the regular food control that is based on the operator's in-house control. The practical side of food control is carried out by municipal food control authorities and Finnish Food Authority's inspection veterinarians. Genetically modified food is also controlled by the Finnish Customs.