Norway's Ministry of Food, Science and Technology (MFST) is working on draft legislation that could see the setting in motion of a new legal framework to support the import and sale of genetically modified foods in Norway within five to ten years.
An initial report from the MFST suggests that the legalisation and sale of GM foods could reduce the cost of certain food products in Norwegian retail stores by as much as 20% within two years of introduction of the new legislation, and products arriving on shop shelves.
"What is clear is that the existing process of legal change initiated by the Norwegian government will see imported genetically modified food being sold freely in Norway within five to ten years. Legislation is planned that will see lawmakers vote to accept use of GM ingredients in processed food within two years," said GM foods legislation expert, Professor Hilde-Gunn Sorteberg at the Oslo-based University Of Life Sciences.
Consumers can look forward to cheaper foods products, said Sorteberg. "Because GM products are cheaper to produce than traditional foods, I expect Norwegian farmers will support the change. The lower production costs will mean cheaper foods in certain categories," said Sorteberg.
Norway's existing GM legislation outlaws all GM products that may cause resistance to antibiotics and bans the release of genetically modified organisms into the environment.