GE Free New Zealand in Food & Environment, 1st August  2003

Monsanto's safety tests riddled with flaws

GE Free (NZ) in food and environment is asking the Minister of Health, Annette King, to authorise the withdrawal of all GE foods already on the New Zealand market, following renewed concerns about their impact on public health.

The studies and evaluations that the GE industry is placing before the FSANZ (Food Standard Authority of Australia and New Zealand) board, to support approvals of GE foods have been discovered to be severely flawed and raise serious health concerns.

"These serious flaws in the research from the applicants appear to have been missed or totally ignored by the Minister's advisors. FSANZ is a fully resourced body and should have found these studies and investigated them. It is not up to New Zealand public to do their research for them"
said Claire Bleakley.

"If FSANZ cannot find these studies what is their research team doing? It appears that they are accepting industry safety assurances and ignoring independent studies?"

In 1995 and 1996 Monsanto carried out its own GE food (canola) tests on rats and found that they had serious overall weight loss, and organ weight gains.

UK- government-funded studies by Dr Arpad Puzstai confirmed evidence of harm in Monsanto's results. Dr Pusztai's and Dr. Stanley Ewen�s potato studies (1999) were far more comprehensive and pointed out that GE foods would affect the digestive system, and vital organs.

It appears that FSANZ, who says that they have the most rigorous approval process in the world, have been accepting flawed Monsanto studies to justify GE food approvals. Soy tests have shown that the testing of toxic compounds came from E.coli, not soybean. Insufficient data on generational effects was given and research showed that light toasting of soybeans produces very high levels of toxic compounds. Furthermore, glyphosate (Roundup) levels in the soy beans exceeded the current accepted safety levels.

"It is a blatant lie for people in the industry to say that 'GE has not been proven to have ill effects' when these studies exist." said Claire Bleakley. " The New Zealand government must fund research into the GE link to colon cancer and immune system illnesses now. We cannot afford  illnesses resulting from eating GE foods to cause deaths in a similar way to that of lung cancer has from smoking, simply because our food safety authority has inadequate data and evaluation methods."

GE Free New Zealand is calling on the Minister to withdraw GE foods and conduct a comprehensive independent study into the health effects of the ingestion of GE foods in the interests of protecting the health of all New Zealanders.

Claire Bleakley (06) 3089842

References:( see attachment for full article)
Monsanto Glyphosate-Tolerant Canola line GT200.BNF000077 (2002)

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