24/05/2011

Maternal Blood Tests Cause for Rethink on GE Science Advice

 

Scientists advising the government must urgently report on the implications of new research showing metabolites from herbicides and insecticides in GE plants are making it through digestion into the bloodstream of mothers and into fetal blood.

The article “Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated with GE foods” by Aris and LeBlanc [1], published in the Reproductive Toxicology Journal, reports100% of infants they tested contained herbicide metabolites in their blood, and 93% carried the insecticide Cry toxin from GE foods.

The findings demand a rethink of all GE foods (including soy, corn, canola and cottonseed) that Authorities have already approved into New Zealand and Australia.

Professor Peter Gluckman and colleagues published research [2] on epigenetics and the effects of maternal diet on fetal and infant development, showing the complex consequences of maternal diet on long-term health into adulthood.

Gluckman et al epigenetics research and Aris et al GM-food research indicate officials must urgently rethink the flawed approach to GE food safety assessments which have not factored in the emerging scientific understanding.

"New Zealand scientists are working at the cutting edge of epigenetics and diet. We are seeing mounting scientific evidence that challenges belief in the safety of GM foods. It is apparent that approval has been given without a proper understanding of how GM foods are different from conventional foods," says Jon Carapiet, spokesman for GE-Free NZ (in food and environment).

The findings of the Canadian research are also a further warning to manufacturers that official approval is no basis for assuming GE goods are safe. The findings support the importance of a GM-free policy in sourcing ingredients and formulating products.

“There have been repeated warnings of the conflict of interest for Food Standards agencies between consumer protection and promoting industry trade. This has blinkered them from looking at the deleterious effects of GE, saying it is the responsibility of food companies to stay away from ingredients that may harm their consumers,” says Claire Bleakley, president of GE-Free NZ.

Infant formula manufacturers are saying GE contamination in infant formula is out of control [3]. It is vital to maintain choice and integrity of the supply of GE-Free infant foods [4].

“It is still best for mothers to breast feed however, if this is not possible we suggest that they stay away from all infant formulas unless organic or guaranteed GE-Free,” says Mrs. Bleakley

“In light of the unknown effects of GE on our health, it is pleasing that Organic and many New Zealand companies are fully supporting consumer choice by guaranteeing the committment to their foods as being GE Free.”

New Zealand is still GE-Free in its food farming and has a large certified Organic sector that does not allow GE into its production system. So buying foods that are grown and processed in New Zealand and do not contain imported ingredients like soy or corn will guarantee consumers the choice of a GE free food source.

"These findings show that the presumptions of safety for GE foods were not made on scientific grounds and therefore pose an unknown threat to the most vulnerable, our children. If our Government is truly scientific its advisors must re-assess GM food approvals throughout the entire food chain in light of the evidence that GE DNA can persist in the blood stream, and having no idea what deleterious effects this could cause,” says Claire Bleakley.

References:

1. Aris A, Leblanc S. Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in Eastern Townships of Quebec , Canada . Reprod Toxicol (2011), doi:10.1016/j.reprotox.2011.02.004 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21338670

2. Gluckman P., Hanson M., Cooper C. and Thornburg K., (2008) Effect of In -Utero and Early life conditions on Adult Health and disease. http://www.pinniped.net/gluckman2008.pdf

3. Food Producers in Australia admit GM is impossible http://www.foodnews.co.nz/20188/food-producers-operating-in-australia-admit-gm-free-is-impossible/

3. Which baby foods contain genetically engineered ingredients? http://todayyesterdayandtomorrow.wordpress.com/2007/05/28/baby-food-2/

[4] Bellamy’s Organic Infant Formula from birth to toddler. http://www.bellamysorganic.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=66&Itemid=1

[4] Baby Nat organic formula

http://www.naturebaby.co.nz/babynat-organic-follow-formula-p-254.html

[4] Nutricia Baby Formula’s www.nutricia.co.nz

ENDS

Jon Carapiet 021 0507681

Claire Bleakley 06 3089842 / 027 348 6731

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