20/12/2009

Three Variants of Toxic Maize Could Be In NZ

 

All three of the GM maize variants recently discovered to be toxic in long-term tests have been approved for sale by authorities in New Zealand and Australia.

The three types of maize: MON810, MON863 and NK603, are all listed as "approved" in the official list of FSANZ Approved Gene Technology Foods.

The results of a 2-year study published ealier this month (1) confirm that the short-term data used to originally gain official approval of the products had obscured their toxicity.

The study published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences demonstrates the toxicity of the three genetically modified corn varieties from U.S. seed company Monsanto. "Each time, for all three GMOs, the kidneys and liver, which are the main organs that react to a chemical food poisoning, had problems," indicated Gilles-Eric SÚralini, an expert member of the Commission for Biotechnology Reevaluation, created by the EU in 2008.

The discovery provides proof for the first time that not only should these 'legally approved' GM foods be withdrawn, but that FSANZ's approach to approving such foods is wrong and is putting the public at risk.

"If this new study proving liver and kidney damage doesn't prompt immediate action from FSANZ it will signal a serious breakdown in the regulatory system," says Jon Carapiet from GE Free NZ in food and environment.

"It is not known how much of each of these GM crops is being allowed into New Zealand, but there is clearly a need for FSANZ to ban these products and comprehensively rethink their approval system in the face of potential public health emergency. Nothing less is scientifically or ethically justified."

Until action is taken by government officials, consumers - especially pregnant woman, the very young and those with suppressed immune systems, should avoid food from manufacturers using GM maize. People should opt for companies committed to a policy of using GM-free, NZ- grown or certified organic ingredients.

Manufacturers who are using any of these ingredients must also take action to stop, or they will be knowingly putting their customers at risk. At least one product identified on its label as using GM ingredients is Stagg's Vegetable Chilli Beans imported from the US. Inghams have also revealed they use some GM grains in chicken feed, following an investigation by the Commerce Commission. It is understood Tegel may also do so. Other products that incorporate GM maize may be channelled through cafes and point of preparation where they can be sold legally without any labelling or warning.
ENDS
Jon Carapiet 0210507681
Claire Bleakley 06-3089842

References
http://www.truthout.org/1215091
http://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2009/12/11/une-etude-prouve-la-nocivite-pour-l-organisme-de-trois-mais-monsanto_1279552_3244.html#ens_id=1269926
1) Study Proves Three Monsanto Corn Varieties' Noxiousness to the Organism
Friday 11 December 2009
by: Le Monde with AFP | Le Monde
A new European study "clearly reveals ... new side effects linked with GM maize consumption" affected the liver and kidneys, but also other organs for three Monsanto GMO corn varieties.
A study published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences demonstrates the toxicity of three genetically modified corn varieties from the American seed company Monsanto, the Committee for Independent Research and Information on Genetic Engineering (Criigen, based in Caen), which participated in that study, announced Friday, December 11.
"For the first time in the world, we've proven that GMO are neither sufficiently healthy nor proper to be commercialized. [...] Each time, for all three GMOs, the kidneys and liver, which are the main organs that react to a chemical food poisoning, had problems," indicated Gilles-Eric SÚralini, an expert member of the Commission for Biotechnology Reevaluation, created by the EU in 2008.
Caen and Rouen University researchers, as well as Criigen researchers, based their analyses on the data supplied by Monsanto to health authorities to obtain the green light for commercialization, but they draw different conclusions after new statistical calculations. According to Professor SÚralini, the health authorities based themselves on a reading of the conclusions Monsanto has presented and not on conclusions drawn from the totality of the data. The researchers were able to obtain complete documentation following a legal decision.
"Monsanto's tests, effected over 90 days, are obviously not of sufficient duration to be able to say whether chronic illnesses are caused. That's why we ask for tests over a period of at least two years," explained one researcher. Consequently, the scientists demand a "firm prohibition" on the importation and cultivation of these GMOs.
These three GMOs (MON810, MON863 and NK603) "are approved for human and animal consumption in the EU and especially the United States," notes Professor SÚralini. "MON810 is the only one of the three grown in certain EU countries (especially Spain); the others are imported," he adds. A meeting of EU ministers over MON810 and NK603 is scheduled Monday.

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