GE Free New Zealand in Food & Environment, 13th October 2003

Government loses credibility on GE science and democracy

In the past month a study conducted by the Russian Nutritional Institute found the GE beetroot and potatoes caused changes in the guts of rats. The Animal Science Journal found that recombinant DNA fragments and Cry1Ab protein have been scientifically found in the gastrointestinal contents of pigs. Mexican researchers have confirmed GE contamination in native maize- including traces of the Starlink crop, which was withdrawn after it contaminated the food supply some years ago but continues to haunt the world.

All these back up findings by Dr's Pusztai and Ewen in 1999 regarding the immunological and gut changes that occurred in rats. The Royal Commission chose to disregard these findings and the Government will not review any findings since the Commission, apparently under pressure from industry to do their bidding at any cost.

"It is time the government realised that the LSN monitoring of their letterboxes is removing valuable information that could affect their decisions on the GE moratorium" said Claire Bleakley of GE Free (NZ) in food and environment " The fact that Ministers will not meet with concerned GE Free groups or read information that is at the forefront of the debate shows how out of touch they really are."

The public supporting preservation of GE Free production are warning all Government parties that they will be accountable to the people. The government cannot say that they were not presented with published scientific evidence of adverse effects. The evidence shows that there are grave dangers for GE release outside containment and GE will be an ongoing issue that current government policy is failing to address.

"Marian Hobbs is now promising that GE will pay for our education and health bill. She has never understood this scientific issue and has totally misrepresented the BERL report with her statement,” said Claire Bleakley from GE Free New Zealand in Food and Environment. “The labour caucus and the whole country are being misled about the real scientific issues on GE . The reality is that the government's refusal to preserve GE-Free production systems by law is likely to destroy our economy rather than help it. 

The new term 'conditional release' is a release, with controls proven to have already failed overseas; by this time next year there could be 6 releases, each in different areas around New Zealand.  

Claire Bleakley (06) 3089842

Reuters Health, Tan Ee Lyn, Bone disease worry for former SARS patients, 2003-10-10,

Proposed (New Organism) Applications- the results of the 2003 Survey.

Detection of corn intrinsic and recombinant DNA fragments and Cry1Ab protein in the gastrointestinal contents of pigs fed genetically modified corn 2003
J. Anim. Sci. 2003. 81:2546-2551
Bt11 1 E. H. Chowdhury*, H. Kuribara, A. Hino, P. Sultana*, O. Mikami*, N. Shimada*, K. S. Guruge*, M. Saito and Y. Nakajima*,2 
National Institute of Animal Health, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0856, Japan; National Food Research Institute, Tsukuba Ibaraki 305-8642, Japan; and National Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0901, Japan

Genetically modified corn has been approved as an animal feed in several countries, but information about the fate of genetically modified DNA and protein in vivo is insufficient. Genetically modified corn Bt11 is developed by inserting a recombinant DNA sequence encoding insecticidal Cry1Ab protein from Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. kurstaki. 

We examined the presence of corn intrinsic and recombinant cry1Ab gene by PCR, and the Cry1Ab protein by immunological tests in the gastrointestinal contents of five genetically modified corn Bt11-fed and five nongenetically modified corn-fed pigs. Fragments of corn zein (242 bp), invertase (226 bp) and of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase genes (1,028 bp) were detected in the gastrointestinal contents of both Bt11 and nongenetically
modified corn-fed pigs. 

Fragments of recombinant cry1Ab gene (110 bp and 437 bp) were detected in the gastrointestinal contents of the Bt11-fed pigs but not in the control pigs. Neither corn intrinsic nor cry1Ab gene fragments were detected in the peripheral blood by PCR. The gastrointestinal contents were positive for Cry1Ab protein by ELISA, immunochromatography, and immunoblot; however, these methods did not work for blood and precluded conclusions about any potential absorption of the protein.

These results suggest that ingested corn DNA and Cry1Ab protein were not totally degraded in the gastrointestinal tract, as shown by their presence in a form detectable by PCR or immunological tests.

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