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Labelling issues of organic and GM foods in Australia

  • Chang, Hui-Shung (Christie)
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    Growth in the demand for organic foods has been phenomenal in the past decade both on Australia and overseas because organic production is seen to be beneficial to both human health and the environment. In general, organic products commend a price premium over conventional products. Since organic attributes cannot be verified easily and there is no control over the use of the word "organic" in the Australian market, the organic label has been subject to abuse. Over ten years, the Australian organic industry has called for a domestic regulation, claiming that any incidence of consumer deception and product misrepresentation can result in the loss of consumer confidence and sales, and more importantly, hinder future industry growth. However, the Government has rejected the calls. On the other hand, despite its recent history, the labelling of GM foods has become mandatory since 2001. This paper examines the arguments for and against the mandatory labelling of organic foods in Australia, compares the political and marketing environments in which organic and GMO foods operate, and assesses the appropriateness of the differing regulatory responses.

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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/58392
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    Paper provided by Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society in its series 2004 Conference (48th), February 11-13, 2004, Melbourne, Australia with number 58392.

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    Date of creation: Feb 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:aare04:58392
    Contact details of provider: Postal: AARES Central Office Manager, Crawford School of Public Policy, ANU, Canberra ACT 0200
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    1. Donaghy, Peter & Rolfe, John, 2001. "David vs Goliath: the bifurcation of public policy concerning organic agriculture and biotechnology in Queensland," 2001 Conference (45th), January 23-25, 2001, Adelaide 125589, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    2. James, Sallie & Burton, Michael P., 2003. "Consumer preferences for GM food and other attributes of the food system," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 47(4), December.
    3. McCluskey, Jill J., 1999. "A Game Theoretic Approach to Organic Foods: An Analysis of Asymmetric Information and Policy," 2000 Conference (44th), January 23-25, 2000, Sydney, Australia 123706, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    4. Shoemaker, Robbin A. & Harwood, Joy L. & Day-Rubenstein, Kelly A. & Dunahay, Terry & Heisey, Paul W. & Hoffman, Linwood A. & Klotz-Ingram, Cassandra & Lin, William W. & Mitchell, Lorraine & McBride, W, 2001. "Economic Issues In Agricultural Biotechnology," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33735, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    5. Golan, Elise H. & Kuchler, Fred & Mitchell, Lorraine, 2000. "Economics Of Food Labeling," Agricultural Economics Reports 34069, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    6. Donaghy, Peter & Rolfe, John & Bennett, Jeffrey W., 2003. "Consumer demands for organic and genetically modified foods," 2003 Conference (47th), February 12-14, 2003, Fremantle, Australia 57862, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    7. Greene, Catherine R. & Kremen, Amy, 2003. "U.S. Organic Farming In 2000-2001: Adoption Of Certified Systems," Agricultural Information Bulletins 33769, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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