Public health will lose again as Food Standards Australia New Zealand Authority (FSANZ) is set to approve GE crops designed to survive spraying with a new range of toxic herbicides. FSANZ are risking the integrity of the food system by ignoring the toxicity of 2, 4-D and missing research data.
The 2, 4-D-resistant corn is just one of a series of approvals, but in a letter commenting on the approval process MAF have highlighted important missing data.
MAF have supported official findings that all the GE food is safe, but also say
“The key consideration of this section of the report should be the determination that the metabolism of the 2, 4-D residue is comparable to that of conventional crops, since if so the risks from the residue would not exceed those deemed acceptable during the establishment of the agricultural chemical Maximum Residue Limit” (1)
But there are missing data, and it is possible that applications of 2, 4-D could increase as occurred with applications of Round-Up Ready GE crops in which increased by up to 200 times.
“The errors in the assessment highlighted by MAF are the tip of the iceberg. They reveal even the basic standards for data are failing,” says Jon Carapiet spokesperson for GE FREE NZ in food and environment.
“The continued approvals of new GE food-lines add more risk and are being made without adequate testing or monitoring.”
There has been much controversy around the use of 2, 4-D which has been linked to Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and endocrine disruption in studies. The interactions and new metabolite between the double herbicides of 2, 4-D and Quizalofop-P-ethyl are not known.
"2, 4 -D is highly toxic to the thyroid and male reproductive system classing it as a potent endocrine disruptor. The approval of GE foods that promote the overuse of chemicals in our food chain must be stopped" said Claire Bleakley President of GE FREE NZ
"Our food is producing and being sprayed with increasing levels of highly toxic pesticides. Regulatory approvals are turning a blind eye to the health effects and allowing our food to become commercial toxic disposal factories".
Commenting on another line of GE soy-oil MAF advises FSANZ of inconsistencies in the reporting of data compared to previous applications.
“A1018 states that the modified oil will be used for cooking and deep frying, whereas the current application states that the intended use is in margarines, and oil for domestic use, and is not suitable for commercial cooking purposes. It is not clear why the oils would have different end uses, when the fatty acid profile is similar.
MAF also notes that “the range of fatty acids reported for A1049 is not as comprehensive as that provided in the reports for A1018. For example, the A1049 report does not have data on C17:0 and C17:1 (levels of these fatty acids were increased slightly in soybean oil from Line DP-305423-1 – A1018), and
”the Safety Assessment Report reports that only the nine fatty acids reported in table 8, are above the limit of quantitation. MAF considers that this limit should be reported in the Approval Report.
The community has lost confidence in the FSANZ as it rubber-stamps applications without independent testing of any kind. The public with look to the power of retailers and manufacturers to prevent GE ingredients ending up on New Zealand supermarket shelves.
The Cypriot government decision to require separate shelves for GE foods is one way to know where GE foods are. New Zealand authorities have no idea where the GE foods they approve now are, or who has eaten them. They have no systems to test for side effects even though we know some GE foods are harmful.
None of the approvals of GE foods has credibility under the poor standards for research and monitoring that have been set. The approvals lack legitimacy when even basic regulation intended to protect public health is found lacking.
Jon Carapiet 0210507681
Claire Bleakley 06 -3089842 / 027 348 6731
Application A1042 Food derived from herbicide-tolerant Corn line DAS-40278-9 http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/_srcfiles/A1042%20GM%20Corn%20DAS-40278-9%202AR.pdf
NPIC National pesticide Information, 2, 4-D Technical Fact Sheet, http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/2,4-DTech.pdf
Application A1046 - food derived from Herbicide-tolerant soybean line DAS-68416-4 - http://www.foodsafety.govt.nz/elibrary/industry/A1046.pdf
Application A1049 – food derived from Herbicide-tolerant, high oleic acid soybean line MON87705 - http://www.foodsafety.govt.nz/elibrary/industry/A1049.pdf