GE Free New Zealand and other community organisations in Australia are calling Food Safety Authorities to account for failing to act on the danger of novel foods, and for allowing consumers to unwittingly consume them.
Marking World Food Day, a dossier of evidence is to be presented to the Ministry of Primary Industries, FSANZ and the Minister, highlighting concerning research that has been dismissed by our Food Safety public body.
There is also concern for accountability in the international community to act on evidence that GE crops are a global threat to the food supply and that 'magic bullet' GE crops undermine practical ways to meet the challenge of feeding future generations.
In the last decade there have been 22 published findings on the deleterious effect of GE foods in the diet of animals and humans. The effects identified in long term studies include GE products being toxic to the liver and kidney, and suppressing the immune system. The latest life long study (700 days) found that the animals eating GE corn got tumours 400 days earlier and 6 times more often than the control animals.(1)
The failure by FSANZ to test or monitor the effects of GE foods being let into the food chain is the Achilles heel of the system for food safety.
"We spend our lives trying to avoid foods that will cause us harm, and government has a duty to ensure this remains possible," says Claire Bleakley, president of GE-free NZ (in food and environment).
"With the advent of GE foods this right has been taken away, with contamination being forced onto conventional and organic producers everywhere."
This global process is a threat to the integrity of the food supply and food security.
International research shows that the alternatives to GE crops are much more important in meeting the food needs of the growing population and providing the world food security.(2)
Feeding the world is an economic and social challenge. Without the risks of GE, afro-ecological farming has shown that it can double food production in the developing world in just ten years.(3)
"It is wrong for GE to be promoted as a boon for the world's poor, as the thousands of suicides by farmers in India attest," says Jon Carapiet, national spokesman for GE-Free NZ in food and environment.(4)
"In the last 16 years GE crops have not increased yields or reduced pesticides, and the technology is a threat to sustainable food systems."(5)
GE-Free New Zealand is inviting all those concerned about this to support the kaupapa and join with them in presenting the dossier of information to the Food Standards Australia New Zealand Authority (FSANZ), the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) and the Minister to immediately recall the GE corn (NK603).
This will happen on the 16th of October at 12pm, meeting at the MPI at 25, The Terrace moving to deliver the documents to FSANZ offices on 154 Featherston Street and to Parliament.
Jon Carapiet 021 0507681
Claire Bleakley 027 38 6731
6) Seralini. G-E., Clair. E., Mesnage. R., Gress. S., Defarge. N., Malatesta. M,. Hennequin. D. and de Vendomois. JS. (2012) Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Food and Chemical Toxicity. Vol: 50, (11) 4221–4231http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fct.2012.08.005