24/09/2013

End Of The Line For Food Sovereignty?

 

The extent to which New Zealand relies on Australian regulators for decisions governing genetically engineered (GE) food will be at the heart of matters considered by Parliament's Regulatory Review Committee this week.

After two years of investigating if New Zealand has any system to appeal against approval of GE food recommended by the trans-Tasman Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) it was identified by officials at the Ministry of Primary Industries that the only avenues remaining open to New Zealand is for submitters to appeal to Parliament's Regulatory Review Select Committee or Judicial Review.

“This will be the end of the line in trying to establish just how much sovereignty over food matters New Zealand can still claim,” said Jon Carapiet, spokesman for GE Free NZ.

The submission to be considered by the Regulatory Review Select Committee seeks a full review of the approval of GE soybean resistant to being sprayed with three toxic chemicals (2,4-D, glyphosate and glufosinate ammonium).

Other GE soybean and corn that are resistant to 2,4-D have been approved by FSANZ but have been refused approval for commercialisation by the USDA. Use of 2,4-D chemical also been recently banned in Australia.

The hearing of this appeal will be from 8.30 - 9.30 am at the Select Committee rooms in Parliament on the morning of the 26 September. The Ministry of Primary Industries will also be given time to speak to the appeal.

GE Free NZ have asked for evidence to be given by Emeritus Professor Don Huber, who has led ground breaking work in the area of nutritional deficiencies and the pesticides used in GE foods. Also Dr. Michael Antoniou Head: Gene Expression and Therapy Group at King’s College, London School of Medicine will join the meeting by teleconference as an expert witness.

"We are pleased that recognition has been given to our appeal. It is an acknowledgement that there is merit in our concerns over the points we have raised." said Claire Bleakley president of GE Free NZ.

"It is impossible to divorce the effects of the improperly tested GE food crops and pesticides from each other, because they are consumed together. As there is an absence of any feeding studies on the triple-herbicide resistant soybean it is impossible to know what, if any, guidelines FSANZ used to approve it as safe for human consumption."

References

1. Submission to the Regulatory Committee http://www.gefree.org.nz/assets/pdf/Regulatory-committee-1-1.pdf

2. http://press.gefree.org.nz/press/20130506.htm

3. Chemical Review: 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. http://www.apvma.gov.au/products/review/current/2_4_d.php

4. Chemical Time Bomb, ABC Four Corners http://www.abc.net.au/4corners/stories/2013/07/22/3806111.htm

5. Dr. Michael Antoniou http://www.kcl.ac.uk/medicine/research/divisions/gmm/departments/mmg/researchgroups/AntoniouLab/index.aspx

6. Emeritus Professor Don Huber http://farmandranchfreedom.org/bio-dr-don-m-huber/

7. FAQ’s on Seralini Study, Seralini Research http://gmoseralini.org/en/

8. FSA 'endangering public health' by ignoring concerns over GM food, John Vidal. The Guardian, 5 September 2013.http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/sep/05/gm-food-cancers-fsa.aspx

ENDS:
Claire Bleakley, President of GE Free NZ 06 3089842 / 027 348 6731
Jon Carapiet - Spokesman 0210507681

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