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Food: Public Sector

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with reference to the Answer of 11 November 2008, Official Report, column 1130W, on 10 Downing Street: catering, what the remit of the public sector food procurement initiative is; and whether the initiative has adopted a policy on using genetically-modified food and ingredients. (250041)

The PSFPI’s remit is explained in the guide “Putting it into practice” that can be seen at

http://www.defra.gov.uk/farm/policy/sustain/procurement/resources.htm.

The primary aim is to support the Government’s Sustainable Farming and Food Strategy for England, which aims to deliver a world class sustainable farming and food sector that contributes to a better environment and healthier, prosperous communities.

DEFRA’s catering toolkit asks public bodies to specify in contracts that suppliers: “Clearly label any genetically modified products used, including the presence of any genetically modified ingredients used in the preparation of the food”.

This is consistent with the Food Standard Agency’s advice on EC Regulation 1829/2003 (GM Food and Feed Regulation) that requires all foods that either consist of or contain live GMOs or foods or ingredients derived from GMOs to be labelled and traceable throughout the food supply chain.