Authorities in the United Arab Emirates have been asked to consider implementing legislation to regulate genetically modified foods.

Hassan Al Khtheiri, chairman of the Emirates Society for Consumer Protection, said a draft law has been presented to Sheikh Fahim bin Sultan Al Oasimi, minister of economy and commerce. The society is optimistic that the draft law will be enforced.

The organisation has requested that the government halt the distribution of genetically modified food until more is known about its effects. Al Khtheiri referred specifically to the concern that GM food might “increase the number of allergies in people, endangering the health of those who are suffering from them already,” reported Gulf News.

He went on to mention implications of GM food on the environment, ethics and economics, and to call for labelling requirements to be enforced on all genetically modified products.

Distributors may currently import GM products into the UAE without restrictions.