Genetically modified food

Genetically modified food (GM food), are foods produced from organisms that have specific changes made to their DNA using gene technology.


The Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code requires that before any GM food is permitted to be sold in Australia, Food Standards Australia New Zealand must conduct a pre-market assessment to evaluate the safety of the GM food. This process ensures that approved GM foods are as safe as conventional foods already in the food supply.

Labelling requirements

GM foods, ingredients, additives, or processing aids which contain novel DNA or protein that has come from an approved GM food must be labelled with the words 'genetically modified'.

Remember, all approved Food Standards Australia New Zealand GM foods are safe to eat and labelling only helps you make an informed choice about the food you buy. 

Excluded food

Foods that are highly refined do not need to be labelled as genetically modified. Highly refined foods include sugars and oils.

Labelling is also not required where there is less than 1% (per ingredient) of an approved GM food unintentionally present in a non-GM food. This means labelling is not required where a manufacturer genuinely orders non-GM ingredients but finds that up to 1% of an approved GM ingredient is accidentally mixed in non-GM ingredient.

There is zero tolerance however for the presence of an unapproved GM food in the food supply, even if it is unintentional.

Further information

For further information on genetically modified foods, see the Food Standards Australia New Zealand website.