PO Box 13402
Wellington, New Zealand

GE-Free New Zealand

in food and environment (RAGE Inc.)

31/05/2016

MPI, Pork and Chicken Producers Urged to Halt GE-feed Imports

 

The Pork and chicken industry should immediately call on their members to remove GE ingredients from their animal feed, and should conduct a survey of producers to establish if there are problems in New Zealand similar to those being observed internationally. These GE grains have been linked to a growing incidence of animal deformities.

The UK's Daily Mail has published an article with photos of deformed goats, pigs, and a puppy born with a trunk. [1] The article quotes a study by Dr. Medaro Vazquez indicating a direct relationship with the use of GE crops in Argentina. Between 2008-2016 GE soy cultivation increased seven-fold, and the number of animal and human offspring born with extreme deformities had quadrupled over that time. In 2014, Danish pig farmer Ib Petersen brought to the world's attention disease and deformities in pigs which developed when GE soy was introduced into their feeding regime [2].

The warning signs that GE crops and associated pesticides can cause serious deformities must not be ignored, Claire Bleakley, president of GE Free NZ.

New Zealand is importing high levels of soy and corn from Argentina. The Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) does not monitor or record the percentage of GE in imported animal feed but an immediate audit is needed. As much as 95% of soy grown in Argentina is GE and it is highly likely that soy entering the New Zealand food-chain is GE. This is being used for animal feed for pigs, chickens and also as supplementary feed for cows.

The GE report also highlighted inadequate animal feeding studies and the need for more comprehensive systematic safety testing post regulation.[3] This is not currently being done, and regulators appear at pains to deny any need for ingestion testing as part of their safetry assessments.

It is time that our Food Standards Authority (FSANZ) recognised the significant vulnerability of New Zealand agriculture created by a lack of precaution and their reliance on industry assurances for GE crop safety. They must recognise the growing body of evidence and rejection in export markets by taking action to withdraw all GE foods from the food chain. This will mitigate against any potential public health disaster and unacceptable animal suffering." Said Bleakley

Over the years, GE ingredients have been creeping into the human diet at higher and higher levels. [4] The World Health Organisation has declared one of the main pesticides used on the GE crops, glyphosate, a probable carcinogen, and other studies have found the chemical widely present in people tested for it.

New Zealand must secure the integrity and safety of GE-free production. New Zealand producers and exporters cannot ignore overseas trends, where major companies like Dannon in the USA, and Lidl in Europe are eliminating GE animal feed from their production systems.

GE-Free NZ call on FSANZ and MPI to prohibit all GE ingredients and those heavily laden with pesticides.
References:
[1] http://goo.gl/cTUFw1
[2] http://goo.gl/C5vV32
[3] http://goo.gl/vB1ZjQ
[4] http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814613019201

ENDS:
Jon Carapiet - National spokesman 0210507681
Claire Bleakley - president@gefree.org.nz 027 348 6731

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