27/11/2015

FSANZ approval dangerous as damaging Herbicide is de registered.

 

There is a concern that imported GE corn and soy products containing residues of dangerous chemicals, could be in the New Zealand food supply.

The US. Environmental Protection Agency (US.EPA), has announced it is revoking the registration of “Enlist Duo”, Dow AgroSciences toxic herbicide combination of glyphosate and 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) designed for use on genetically engineered corn and soy.

The EPA has received new information regarding potential toxic effects on the herbicide combination, that could lead to damaging effects to the environment and non-target organisms. [1]

One of the ingredients, 2,4-D, was a key component of Agent Orange (45%), previously made in Taranaki. This was the highly toxic and genetically damaging defoliant used in the Vietnam War. [2] Its poison effects are still being seen in Asia today.

“This is good news for food safety and consumers. We applaud everyone involved in reaching the decision to cancel the registration,” said Claire Bleakley, president of GE Free NZ.

The Australian regulator APVMA cancelled registration of certain 2,4-D herbicides as they were found to contain highly toxic dioxins. [3]

In 2013, Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) approved use of genetically engineered corn and soy tolerant to 2,4–D & glyphosate. This put New Zealand at the bleeding edge approval of these novel and potentially dangerous foods, before any other food regulator in the world had decided they were safe. [4]

The US EPA’s cancellation of registration for this chemical cocktail is a wake up call for New Zealand food safety and follows the World Health Organisation’s reclassification of glyphosate as a probable cancer causing agent. [5] It calls into question the adequacy of FSANZ's expert assessments on the dangers of the chemical tolerant GE foods and signals a cavalier approach to protecting consumers health.

The FSANZ assessment was incomplete and largely reliant on industry assurances of safety, with no science to back up industry assertions.

FSANZ approved the GE corn and soy before the Maximum residue levels (MRL) for the herbicide in foods had been set.

“It is impossible to understand how the FSANZ expert scientists could reasonably assume that these GE foods are safe, when they have no data on what happens if a person or animal eats them," said Bleakley,

“The approval of potentially unsafe novel foods is a serious failure by FSANZ and they must be called to account.”

The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) must immediately remove the GE corn and soy products now suspected of putting consumers at risk.

References:

[1]http://www.panna.org/sites/default/files/2015-11-24%20EPA%20Voluntary%20Vacatur.pdf

[2] http://www.vietnamwar.govt.nz/memory/price-manufacturing-agent-orange-nz

[3] http://apvma.gov.au/node/12351

[4] http://www.foodstandards.govt.nz/code/applications/documents/A1073_AppR.pdf

[5] http://press.gefree.org.nz/press/20150525.htm

ENDS:
Claire Bleakley 027348 6731
Jon Carapiet 0210507681

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