GE Free New Zealand in Food & Environment, 21st February 2005

Illegal GE Corn Turns Up In Food

"Starlink" - a GE corn intended only for animals, has seeped into food aid supplied by the UN despite a Billion US dollars having been spent to stop it contaminating the human food supply.

Independent tests on food aid supplied into Central America under the World Food Program have shown that despite strenuous efforts to pull Starlink GE corn out of the global food system, it is still a problem.

" This is an urgent warning that contamination by GE crops must be prevented in the first place," says Jon Carapiet from GE Free NZ in food and environment.

" If Starlink was a serious allergen - or worse, one of the new pharmaceutical crops, we would be facing a much more frightening scenario," says Mr Carapiet.

The return of Starlink contamination shows that it is hugely expensive and possibly futile to try and purge problematic GE foods from the supply once released.

Biotechnology lobby groups have previously claimed that the withdrawl of Starlink was evidence of a robust regulatory system. Unfortunately Starlink genes have been discovered in other crops since then. Now they have appeared in human food again - years after the problem was supposedly solved.

Yet again reality shows Government claims to adequate regulation of GE to be false. New Zealand and Australian authorities should stop approving these products now.

The interests of the poor as well as developed countries like New Zealand are not being served by ongoing release of GE crops that cannot be kept under control in fields or kept out of the main food supply.


Jon Carapiet 0210 507 681

UN Agency Accused of Distributing GM Foods
José Eduardo Mora

Inter Press Services February 17, 2005


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