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Labels must warn if foods are transgenic

Labels must warn if foods are transgenic

By Verónica Zapana

In supermarkets, genetically modified foods will have to have labels that warn that they are transgenic. In addition, these supply centers must replace plastic bags with biodegradable containers, as established by the regulation of Supermarket Activities.

The Vice Minister of Consumer Defense, Guillermo Mendoza, explained that these determinations will be implemented once the Specific Regulation for the Regulation of Supermarket Activities for the Protection of Users and Users and Consumers is published. The regulation was approved on October 6 by Ministerial Resolution 205/2015 and agreed with the owners of supermarkets.

"The regulation - which has six chapters, 21 articles, a transitory provision and two final provisions - will be published until the end of the week," said Mendoza. He stressed that after this dissemination it will come into effect.

Among other aspects, the norm establishes that supermarkets must substitute plastic bags for biodegradable ones "preferably made of paper and national industry." "We cannot force the use of certain bags; but yes, the plastic must disappear, "said the vice minister.

It also instructs that chemically modified foods carry labels stating that they are transgenic. Mendoza said that "it will not be easy to get suppliers to place the warnings in the established dimensions." Therefore, a period of six months to three years was given for compliance.

The Regulation also indicates that the products must have the expiration date in larger and more noticeable size. It also establishes that supermarkets must install signs that indicate the nutritional properties of each food.

According to the rule, supermarkets must have enough cash registers to avoid generating lines. Invoices must be printed in perfectly legible characters.

The second article determines that the Vice Ministry of Defense of User and Consumer Rights is in charge of compliance, monitoring and execution of the regulation.

Mendoza commented that supermarkets that do not comply with the provision will be sanctioned through minor, serious and very serious offenses. "The sanctions will be monetary and from 3,000 to 10,000 UFV (Housing Development Unit) - that is, from 6,000 to 20,000 Bolivians - and there will also be closures," the authority warned.

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