State health ministers revealed this week that retailers will be allowed to leave their stocks of unlabelled GM foods on the shelves after 7 December, when the regulatory changes requiring comprehensive labelling of food products’ GE status come into force.

From early December, all GM food must be fully labelled as such, and unpackaged GM foods must be displayed near to labels.

The ministers’ decision is cited in the Tasmanian newspaper The Mercury: “Rather than removing existing products from the shelf, ministers recognised that there is a very rapid turnover in most foods on supermarket shelves and other food outlets and the majority would be sold and consumed within one or two months

“The remaining small minority of foods, which have both low rates of turnover and long use-by or best-before periods, would be allowed to remain on the shelves until used up, but would not be permitted to remain for more than 12 months.”