05/10/2009

GE Canola pollen contaminates Australian honey.

 

Greenpeace has confirmed the presence of genetically engineered (GE) canola pollen in commercial honey from hives in Victoria, Australia.

“The Greenpeace tests show that contamination from GE plants to other foods cannot be controlled” said Claire Bleakley of GE Free NZ in Food and environment.

Bees are threatened by any form of chemical toxins, insecticides and herbicides, however genetically engineered organisms (GEO) pose a greater threat as they contain living DNA from viruses and bacteria.

Herbicide and insecticidal resistant GE pollen has been linked to bee flight disorientation and increased susceptibility to disease; in animal feeding studies of GE canola seed, results have shown growth retardation, reproductive abnormalities, early death and immune weaknesses and in Dr. Seralini’s research on Round Up and glyphosate herbicide has shown reproductive and endocrine disrupting effects in human cells.

Bees are an essential part of the horticultural industry as all plants and foods crops are benefited by bees and for many plants, bees are essential for pollination.

In 2006 the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) approved an Import health Standard for the import of Honey from Australia. This was successfully challenged by the Beekeepers Association who stated that New Zealand was free of many bee diseases and the import of Australian honey would endanger this status. The Court of Appeal consequently overturned the decision and placed a two year ban on imports whilst a scientific review looks in to the risks.

“This is a wake up call to New Zealand and its border biosecurity. The unknown risks from GE pollen to our bee health, honey production and human health must be properly assessed” Ms Bleakley said

“It is essential for New Zealand to keep its ban on Australian Honey in place and the New Zealand Food Safety Authority must keep a close eye on any honey brought in from Australia”.

ENDS:

Claire Bleakley 06-3089842 / 027 348 6731

References:

Find Commercial Beehives Contaminated with Genetically Engineered (GE) Canola 2009-10-03
http://www.truefood.org.au/newsandevents/?news=70

Seralini G et al. How Subchronic and Chronic Health Effects can be Neglected for GMOs, Pesticides or Chemicals Int J Biol Sci 2009; 5:438-443. http://www.biolsci.org/v05p0438.htm

Beekeepers worried over honey threat TIM CRONSHAW - The Press http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/christchurch-business/2877141/Beekeepers-worried-over-honey-threat

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