Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Labelling Issues of Organic and GM Foods in Australia

By Hui-Shung (Christie) Chang


Growth in the demand for organic foods has been phenomenal in the past decade both in Australia and overseas because organic production is seen to be beneficial to both human health and the environment. In general, organic products commend a price premium over conventional products. Since organic attributes cannot be verified easily and there is no control over the use of the word 'organic' in the Australian market, the organic label has been subject to abuse. Over ten years, the Australian organic industry has called for a domestic regulation, claiming that any incidence of consumer deception and product misrepresentation can result in the loss of consumer confidence and sales, and more importantly, hinder future industry growth. However, the Government has rejected the calls. On the other hand, despite its recent history, the labelling of GM foods has become mandatory since 2001. This paper examines the arguments for and against the mandatory labelling of organic foods in Australia, compares the political and marketing environments in which organic and GMO foods operate, and assesses the appropriateness of the differing regulatory foods, GM foods, food labelling., Agribusiness, Marketing, Research and Development/Tech Change/Emerging Technologies,

OAI identifier:
Downloaded from

Suggested articles


  1. (2000). A game theoretic approach to organic foods: an analysis of asymmetric information and policy”, paper presented to the 44
  2. (2003). ACCC to endorse high standard voluntary industry codes of conduct”,
  3. (2000). Australia organic products: organic market continues to expand
  4. (2001). Australian regulations for organic produce”,
  5. (2003). Consumer demands for organic and genetically modified foods”, paper presented to the 47
  6. (2003). Consumer preferences for GM food and other attributes of the food system”,
  7. (2001). David vs Goliath: the bifurcation of public policy concerning organic agriculture and biotechnology
  8. (2002). Domestic regulation of organic production, import, distribution and labelling”, unpublished discussion paper.
  9. (2000). Export Market Potential for Clean & Organic Agricultural Products,
  10. (1997). Export requirements for the marketing of organic and bio-dynamic products”,
  11. (1997). Federal government initiatives”, in
  12. (2000). Implementation of domestic control on organic and biodynamic (foods) in Australia and New Zealand”,
  13. (2002). Industry consultation: summary record of discussion and resolutions”, Regulation of Domestic Organic Food Industry Workshop,
  14. Labelling genetically modified food: user guide to Standard A18/1.5.2— Food Produced Using Gene Technology”,
  15. (2000). Labelling of GMO products: strategic trade policy considerations for Canada”, prepared for the Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee Project Steering Committee on the Regulation of Genetically Modified Foods,
  16. (2002). Official Opening. In: Proceedings for Avcare Summit: Building Australia’s Food Chain - Link by Link.
  17. (1995). Quack, lemon and self-regulation: a welfare analysis”,
  18. (2000). Regulation of GMOs: food safety or trade barrier? an EU perspectives”,
  19. (1983). Regulation service quality in professional markets”,
  20. Standards Australia and New Zealand) 2001a, “Overview of food labelling: user guide to food labelling and other information requirements”,
  21. Taskforce on Industry Self-regulation 2000, Industry Self-Regulation In
  22. (2003). The big issues and the big ideas”, speech to the Australian Industry Group National Industry Forum, Parliament House,
  23. (1999). The Economics And Politics Of Genetically Modified Organisms In
  24. (2003). The US and Canadian markets for organic fruit and vegetables”, paper presented to the FAO Seminar on the Production and Exports of Organic Fruit and vegetables in
  25. (2003). US Organic Farming in 2000-2001:

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.