PO Box 13402
Wellington, New Zealand

GE-Free New Zealand

in food and environment (RAGE Inc.)


FSANZ Plan to Deregulate Gene Editing Threatens Consumer Choice and Food Safety


The Minister for Food Safety Meka Whaitiri has been called on to look into the reasons for excluding New Zealand submissions regarding Foods Standards Australia/ NZ (FSANZ) proposal (P1055).

Food Standards Australia New Zealand received 1734 submissions to consider new definitions for Gene Edited foods. Despite submissions warning against the inadequate science to support its decision, FSANZ concluded that certain categories of Gene Edited food should be excluded from pre-market approval, labelling and regulation. This compromises a consumer's right to choose, and puts at risk the future integrity of the food system if no safety check or traceability is required. [1]

FSANZ assessment appears to have cherry-picked the evidence and deliberately excluded certain New Zealand submissions, including GE Free NZ’s. [2]

“FSANZ has moved away from its duty of care for consumers and is bowing to the GE industry. They have sidelined submissions and the available science shows we remove oversight of Gene Edited products at our peril," said Claire Bleakley, GE-Free NZ President.

Consumers worldwide want foods to be safe and traced 'from field to fork'. The integrity of New Zealand food exports will be destroyed if compliance to non-GMO standards is not met. The ability to trace GE seeds and animals becomes impossible through FSANZ's deregulation plan.

"Consumers have a right to know what processes have gone into producing the food we buy. The FSANZ plan denies people that right and will erode overseas consumer trust and confidence in New Zealand products that has taken years to establish," said consumer advocate Jon Carapiet, spokesman for GE-Free NZ.

There are many studies showing that even the smallest GE tweaks to the DNA of an organism can have devastating off-targets effects. There have been no human studies on the effects of eating Gene Edited foods. [3] Nor are there any diagnostic tests to detect harm that could inform health professionals dealing with patients.

There are confirmed results from the global rollout experiment, over the past three years that GE RNA molecules can pose great health dangers to a sectors of the community that lead to chronic health problems and deaths. [4]

Kings College, London, molecular geneticist Dr Michael Antoniou has expressed grave concerns saying “If the kind of detrimental effects seen in animals fed GMO food were observed in a clinical setting, the use of the product would have been halted and further research initiated to determine the cause.”

The omitting of GE Free NZ’s thoughtful detailed submission made on behalf of New Zealand members and concerned public is a dereliction of duty and a deliberate sidelining of New Zealand views on this important issue for consumers and food producers.

“In its decision FSANZ has failed in its responsibility to protect consumers from health risks from untested novel GE foods,” said Claire Bleakley, “The Minister must urgently act to question FSANZ the failure to consider submissions which call for regulation, labelling and traceability.”

[1] P1055 - https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/code/proposals/Pages/p1055-definitions-for-gene-technology-and-new-breeding-techniques.aspx
[2] GE Free NZ submission to FSANZ P1055 - https://www.gefree.org.nz/submissions-and-court-actions/reports-and-submissions/
[3] https://www.gefree.org.nz/assets/Uploads/New-GE-unintended-effects-2-1.pdf
[4] https://www.oraclefilms.com/safeandeffective
Jon Carapiet - Spokesman 0210507681
Claire Bleakley – President 027 348 6731

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