Saudi Arabia

Current GMO Labelling Requirements:

Following is the summary of the Saudi Ministry of Commerce's GMO Labelling requirements put into effect on December 1, 2001:

  1. Positive labelling: if a product contains one or more genetically modified plant ingredients, the information should be clearly communicated to the consumer by labelling. A triangle should be drawn and on it the text should read "Contains Genetically Modified Product (s)." Note: Saudi Arabia does not permit imports of foodstuffs that contains genetically engineered animal products.

  3. Bilingual Labelling: The GMO statement must be clearly written in Arabic and English languages with an ink color different from that of the main product tag.


  5. Health Certificate: GMO products or genetically engineered products which are exported to Saudi Arabia must have been approved in the country of origin for human consumption. Each shipment must be accompanied by a health certificate issued by a government agency stating that the GMO ingredient (s) used in the foodstuff is approved in the country of origin (United States) for human consumption.

  7. PCR Real Time Method: MOC approved the PCR Real Time Method for GMO testing and set a 1 percent threshold to account for cross contamination and appointed King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Center (KFSH) to do the GMO testing on imported and locally produced foodstuffs. However, due to lack of trained personnel and inadequate lab equipment, the hospital subcontracted with Genetic ID a London, England based firm to do the tests until it can do it locally. Saudi importers are charged a testing fee of US$ 480 per product sample tested. It takes 3-4 weeks for the importer to receive the test results. If the test results reveal more than 1 percent GMO ingredients, the product is either destroyed locally or re-exported.

(For further details, go to the USDA Foreign Agricultural Service Report on Saudi Arabia Biotechnology Update)

Other countries:

  1. Australia
  2. Brazil
  3. Canada
  4. China
  5. Czech Republic
  6. European Union
  7. Hong Kong
  8. Israel
  9. Japan
  10. Korea
  11. Malaysia
  12. Russia
  13. Switzerland
  14. Taiwan
  15. Thailand
  16. USA

Related article:

  1. Pocket K No. 5 - Labeling GM Foods - View
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