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Land and Environment : Agribusiness Assoc. of Australia

Australian Agribusiness Perspectives: 2005

Paper 67, 2005

Labelling issues of organic and GM Foods in Australia*

Hui-Shung (Christie) Chang**

* An earlier version of this paper was presented to the 48 th AARES Annual Conference, Melbourne, 11-13 February 2004.
** Hui-Shung (Christie) Chang, Senior Lecturer, School of Economics, University of New England, Armidale, NSW. E-mail: .


Demand for organic foods has grown significantly in the past decade in Australia and overseas because of perceived health and environment benefits. Organic products often commend a price premium, which has resulted in the abuse of the organic label by unscrupulous marketers. Despite years of lobbying by the industry, no domestic control exists. By contrast, the labelling of GM foods is mandatory soon after the debate started. This paper examines the arguments for and against mandatory labelling of organic and GM foods in Australia, compares the political and marketing environments confronting them, and assesses the appropriateness of the differing regulatory responses.


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