08/06/2015

Are cattle dying from a GE sweet beet?

 

Cattle deaths are again being reported in Southland due to a new variety of fodder beets [1] and DairyNZ is asking for caution over the transition from the grazing of fodder beets and brassica [2]. This follows on from cattle deaths from Herbicide tolerant Swedes last year [2]. New breeding techniques of the Beet and Brassica fodder crops are increasingly using mutagenic, genetically engineered similar techniques to sell their crops that appear to be producing high levels of toxins, are these techniques circumnavigating the law of New Zealand?

The new hybrid fodder beet a cross between a sugar beet and a mangel beet, is marketed by DLF Seeds have possibly used a cross developed from genetically engineered sugar beet parent line [3] and poses the question "Are the hybrids now being sold in New Zealand?"

DLF Seeds is a subsidiary of Danish Company DLF – Trifolium, who in cooperation with Monsanto Company and Danisco Seeds have been breeding genetically engineered fodder beets [3] for many years. Are DLF Seeds deliberately circumnavigating NZ law using the same smoke and mirrors mutagenic breeding techniques, as occurred with the herbicide tolerant (chlorsulfuron) swedes that killed thousands of cattle in 2014? If so, then farmers are being wooed away from safe food production, which will further collapse their market. Already a large number of farmers are highly indebted and with the move to spray crops and fields with toxic herbicides and insecticides it will further erode the sustainable green standard to which they strive as World market leaders.

“It appears that the market for hybrid fodder crops and imported supplementary animal feed has become a minefield of products laden with GE and toxic sprays, all unlabelled and subject to regulatory blindness,” said Claire Bleakley president of GE Free NZ

Federated Farmers has been very quiet on the deaths from eating fodder crops. Is this because the Chair William Rolleston is secretly supporting the introduction of GE as he did in the past?

“Instead of wasting Federated Farmers money on appealing the Resource Management law [4]. They should be challenging the move toward a toxic spray based, mutagenically engineered, farming system and support sustainable, agroecological high health pastures that do not kill livestock” said Ms. Bleakley.

References:

[1] http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/rural/275645/southland-dairy-cow-deaths-after-feed-switch

[2] http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1506/S00214/crop-advice-to-farmers-urges-caution.htm

[3] Roundup Ready Fodder Beet Derived From Line A5/15 http://www.biosafety.be/gmcropff/EN/TP/SNIFs/C-DK-97-01.pdf

[4] www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ruralnews/audio/201757144/morning-rural-news-for-5-june-2015


ENDS:

Claire Bleakley 06 3989 842 / 027 348 6731

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