Food products containing small amounts of genetically modified crop can be labelled GM-free in Canada under new government-approved labelling rules.

The standard limits to less than 5% the amount of accidental co-mingling. The voluntary rule applies to the advertising and labelling of pre-packaged, bulk, and prepared food.

Environmental groups assailed the 5% solution as lax and have called for mandatory labelling.

Jeanne Cruikshank of the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors, the association that sponsored the initiative said: “No solution will please everyone, but this standard represents a broad consensus on the part of consumer groups, farmers, industry and government.”