Protecting the Consumer’s Right to a Healthy Environment in the Developing World
Consumers and GMOs
Among the basic consumer rights, four are particularly relevant to the risks associated with development and commercialisation of the products of modern biotechnology:
• The right to safety: Consumers must be protected against products, processes and services that are hazardous to health.
• The right to be informed: Consumers must be given the facts necessary to make an informed choice, and be protected against lack of information and dishonest or misleading information. The absence of appropriate labelling clearly infringes this right.
• The right to choose: Consumers must be able to select freely from a range of products and services according to their preferences and beliefs.
• The right to a healthy and sustainable environment: The well-being of present and future generations is at the core of this right and is a growing concern of today’s consumers.
Defence of these rights is the foundation from which the consumer movement approaches the topic of GMOs and GM food and their potential risks. The work of consumer organisations in defence of consumer health and environmental protections is widely recognised at the international level through the UN Guidelines for Consumer Protection.