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12, Nov, 2010

GE food and environment regulators need changing


Category: Soil & Health Association of NZ

New Zealand’s food and environmental safety regulators need either some major staff changes, political policy push or a culture change, if public safety is to be considered properly, according to the Soil & Health Association of New Zealand.

The latest revelations showing that Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) distorted research results in 2000 from studies of animals fed with soy that was genetically engineered (GE) to produce high amounts of the amino acid lysine soybean. FSANZ has also failed to take the feeding studies into account when approving a similarly GE high lysine corn, now rejected by European governments.

The study referenced in the FSANZ approval documents showed that some pigs required 66% more feed to grow as well as pigs on a normal diet. This indicates that the GE feed is having an anti-nutrient or toxic effect.

Dr Elvira Dommisse, a former GE scientist for Crop & Food and now an advocate of GE-free organics said, “FSANZ have not actually understood the animal feeding studies, because if they had, there is no way they could have approved such GE food crops for human or animal consumption.”

“This will be another regulatory example for my presentation on GE mis-regulation in New Zealand tomorrow at the Organics Aotearoa New Zealand conference being held at Waikato University,” said Soil & Health spokesperson Steffan Browning.

“Following the series of non-compliances at GE field trials, the complicity between the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA), MAF-Biosecurity NZ (MAF-BNZ), science funders and research institutes such as Plant and Food, AgResearch, and Scion, has been outstanding and needs exposure.”

“The culture of economics first and complicity to avoid public scrutiny, or precaution pervades ERMA, MAF, the Crown Research Agencies in terms of environmental risk, but it is also rampant in terms of the food supply in FSANZ and the New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA).”

“FSANZ has ticked through 61 GE plant lines as safe for human consumption with NZFSA standing right behind them, although feeding studies have shown increasing serious health concerns.”

“Each of ERMA’s granted GE field trials have had consent conditions breached, and along with MAF inspection and enforcement teams, have effectively assisted those involved to dodge meaningful penalty. AgResearch is being assisted by ERMA to dodge both public processes and meaningful precaution with new GE animal applications that either dodge public process or have unintelligible information to technically circumvent the findings of GE Free NZ’s successful High Court outcome.”

“Organic production, as highlighted in the Innovate – Go Organic titled conference 13-15 November in Hamilton, avoids the risks of GE and requires no backroom complicity for it to succeed. A Clean Green 100% Pure New Zealand will support the market preferred safe and sustainable organics, and shun dodgy unsafe GE technologies,” said Mr Browning.

Soil & Health has a vision of a GE Free NZ in an Organic 2020.

Contact:

The Soil & Health Association of NZ
Spokespersons
Steffan Browning
021 725 655
Dr Elvira Dommisse
03 942 2748