02/08/2018

EU Decision on Gene Editing Technologies Supports NZ legislation

 

Organizations and individuals concerned about the risks posed by GMOs applaud the ruling by the European Court of Justice that the new advanced gene-editing technologies, called ‘GMO 2.0’, are genetically modified organisms and should go through the same regulatory process. The warning from scientists at the UK Sanger Institute of unintended effects from CRISPR-Cas9 supports the decision to regulate gene editing in Europe. [1]

New scientific research confirms that all genetic modification technologies can have much more damaging health effects than has been believed.

Dr. I. M. Zdziarski at the University of Adelaide and colleagues have just published a study that shows the stomachs of rats who eat GMOs have alterations in their gut lining. [3] The study conducted on triple stacked corn that contained two types of insecticide resistant transgenes and one herbicide tolerant transgene. This study’s findings support earlier research on pigs and rats and the earth-shaking study by Dr. Arpad Puzstai, who found that the process of genetically modifying a plant had the potential to cause stomach alterations with serious health implications.

Since Sir Peter Gluckman called for the GE debate to be reopened there, voices have called for such gene editing technologies to bypass the regulatory process. These new GE technologies are intended for use on humans, animals, insects, and plant.

“These are dangerous suggestions, as the Zdziarski study shows, ten years after the genetically engineered corn was commercialised and entered the food chain and we still have no real evidence that the GMOs are safe,” said Jon Carapiet, national spokesperson for GE Free NZ “To introduce these advanced GE technologies without regulation would be irresponsible and negligent.

New Zealand legislation leads the way through the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act, which sets out clear guidelines regarding advanced GE technologies devised since 1998. This means that the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) must approve any organism that uses gene-editing tools to alter the cells’ natural traits before such an organism can be released into the environment.

“New Zealand must ensure that it maintains its regulation as these gene editing technologies are a new and unproven genetic engineering procedure that have no history of safe use” said Mr. Carapiet.

References:

[1] https://www.sanger.ac.uk/news/view/genome-damage-crisprcas9-geneediting-higher-thought
[2] Zdziarski, I.M., Carman, J.A. and Edwards, J.W. (2018) Histopathological Investigation of the Stomach of Rats Fed a 60% Genetically Modified Corn Diet. Food and Nutrition Sciences , 9, 763-796. https://doi.org/10.4236/fns.2018.96058
[3] https://curia.europa.eu/jcms/jcms/p1_1217550/en/

ENDS

Jon Carapiet –Spokes person 0210507681

Claire Bleakley - 027 348 6731

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