Susanne Kendell
Institute of Market Analysis


Bundesallee 63
38116 Braunschweig
Phone: +49 531 596 5302
Fax: +49 531 596 5399

How much food labelling is necessary?



Expanded GMO-labeling to food produced from animals: impacts and qualitative assessment

Based on current EU regulations there is no requirement for labeling food produced from animals which are fed with genetically modified feed. The government plans to expand the existing labeling requirements to these food group.

Background and Objective

The gorverning parties agreed to expand the EU mandatory labeling to products derived from animals which are fed with genetically modified feed. So far it is unclear, which impact such a labeling requirement could have on the different actors along the value chain. Therefore the Thünen-Institute of Market Analysis along with the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL) was asked by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) to analyze the possible consequences of the GMO-labeling. The aim is not to evaluate the intended labeling, but rather to identify the necessary measures taken by companies and food safety authorities in order to fulfill the regulative requirements.

Target Group

Members of the German Bundestag, general public


Qualitative expert interviews with industrial associations, companies and food safety authorities.


The extension of GMO-labeling would involve additional measures for the concerned companies and food safety authorities. The operational costs would be based primarily on increased documentation costs as well as on the required separation of labeled and unlabeled commodity flows. On the supply side economic consequences such as price-, availability- and trade shifts of animal feed would be expected. The degree of shifting depends on the demand-side market reaction to such labeling. Referring to the food safety authorities the expanded GMO-labeling is also associated with a high additional staff and operating budget. Especially the issue of analytical non-detectability of genetically modified feeds in animal products, which is connected with a significant potential for company fraud, should be considered while planning the GMO-labeling at EU level.


Involved Thünen-Partners

Involved external Thünen-Partners

  • Bundesamt für Verbraucherschutz und Lebensmittelsicherheit (BVL)
    (Braunschweig, Deutschland)


3.2014 - 7.2015


hits: 1

  1. Peter G, Krug O, Bendiek J, Stolz A (2014) Mögliche Auswirkungen einer Ausweitung der Gentechnik-Kennzeichnungspflicht auf Lebensmittel tierischen Ursprungs. Braunschweig: Johann Heinrich von Thünen-Institut, III, 31 p, Thünen Working Paper 21, DOI:10.3220/WP_21_2014
    pdf document (limited accessibility) 881 kb