Labelling genetically modified (GM) food

You must label as genetically modified (GM) any food or ingredients containing novel DNA or novel protein, or with characteristics altered by gene technology. There are some exceptions.

What your GM food label must say

If you sell genetically modified (GM) food or food with any GM or GE (genetically engineered) ingredients, you must label as genetically modified any food or ingredient:

  • containing novel DNA or novel protein.
  • with characteristics altered by gene technology, such as soya beans (soybeans) with high oleic acid content.

What is novel DNA or novel protein?

Novel DNA or novel protein is DNA or protein with a chemical sequence or structure different to DNA or protein in counterpart (unmodified) food, as a result of using gene technology. It does not include protein that:

  • is used as a processing aid or food additive, and
  • has an amino acid sequence found in nature.

Foods with characteristics altered by genetic modification or genetic engineering

These foods are listed in Schedule 26 of the Food Safety Australia New Zealand Code.

Schedule 26 Food produced using gene technology - Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Code

When food doesn't need GM labelling

You do not need to declare ingredients that contain GM material if the product:

  • unintentionally contains less than 1% GM material
  • flavouring makes up less than 0.1% of the food.

You should take all reasonable steps to avoid including undeclared GM ingredients.

If you serve food with GM ingredients in a restaurant, café or takeaway, you don't need to label it as GM, but your staff must tell customers if they ask.

More on labelling GM foods

Standard 1.5.2 Food produced using gene technology - FSANZ Code

What other rules apply to labelling?

How to label food and drink

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