15/03/2014

Approval of GE Crops Has descended Into a Farce

 

New Zealand's and Australia's approval process for new GE foods has defended into a farce. Crops that are not even authorised to be grown overseas are getting rubber-stamped as safe. [1]

China has returned over 600,000 tons of Syngenta's Agrisure Viptera MIR162 (A1001) corn over the last two years, as they still do not have the evidence to show it is safe to eat.

Syngenta has announced that it is withdrawing all its Agrisure Duracade (A1060) genetically engineered corn because the EU has not approved it. [2]

However without any evidence of safety the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Authority (FSANZ) merrily ticked through both these GE Syngenta crops for human and animal consumption in 2008 and 2012 respectively. How much of the product is imported, and in which foods is unknown. [3] [4]

Similarly without evidence, and outside of international guidelines on food safety, the New Zealand's Minister Nikki Kaye approved Dow Agrichemical’s herbicide-tolerant 2,4-D corn and soy [5], and crops resistant to Syngenta’s herbicide Mesotrione [6], the last on 3 February 2014.

Both these GE crops have been shown to have significant nutritional deficiencies and there is a total absence of biological studies on their impacts when eaten.

"We are being put at the bleeding edge of biotech crops, not by growing them but by our government allowing importation of scores of GE foods without proper testing, monitoring or labelling," said Jon Carapiet, national spokesman for GE-Free NZ in food and environment.
The New Zealand public is being betrayed by a sub-standard food safety regime and a lack of funding to detect the illegal importation of GE foods that are contaminating the food supply.

“The Minister is responsible to consider international law. Why then does she and FSANZ continue to rely on industry assurances of safety when other food authorities and our trading partners seek a more comprehensive safety review before approving?” said Claire Bleakley, president of GE-free NZ in food and environment.

"Is GE corn rejected by other countries coming unlabelled into our food supply endangering consumers?" said Mrs. Bleakley

This farcical process calls into question who FSANZ is working for; clearly it is not working for the benefit of the New Zealand public.

References:
[1] Steady Increase In Incidents Of Genetically Modified Crops Found In Traded Food, UN Agency Reports
 http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=47354&Cr=food+security&Cr1=#.UyPTJF6HoTk
[2] Massive market rejection of Syngenta corn
http://www.gmwatch.eu/index.php/news/archive/2014/15345-massive-market-rejection-of-new-syngenta-gm-corn
[3] FSANZ 1001
http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/code/applications/pages/applicationa1001food3769.aspx
[4] FSANZ A1060
http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/code/applications/Pages/applicationa1060food5180.aspx
[5] FSANZ 1073 http://www.gefree.org.nz/reports-and-submissions
[6] 'Put Food Safety First':Food Minister must reject "The Suicide Chemical" GE soybean http://press.gefree.org.nz/press/20140116.htm

ENDS:

Jon Carapiet 0210507681
Claire Bleakley 06 3089842 / 027 348 6731

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