GE Free New Zealand in Food & Environment, 27th  May 2005

Food May Be Increasing Antibiotic Resistance

Alarm about increased antibiotic resistance should be a wake-up call to authorities about the use of antibiotics in animal husbandry and in GE foods being allowed into New Zealand from overseas.

Vested interests continue to promote the "safe' use of antibiotics in animal feed and as antibiotic resistant marker genes in GE foods and are not being brought to task by authorities despite growing evidence of a complex interaction in micro-organism populations and inadequate risk-assessment.

The recent decision by Australian and New Zealand Food Authorities to allow illegal Bt 10 corn to be sold -despite bans overeas- is an alarming precedent. The Bt10 product is understood to contain an antibiotic- resitant marker for a specific antibiotic used to treat meningococcal disease.

For some years medical professionals have called for a halt to use of such markers destined to be consumed in GE foods by millions of people.However the approval of exactly this kind of product into our food shows that authorities are ignoring those warnings.

" It is time for the authorities to get real on ending the over-use of antibiotics as growth-promoters in animals and as as the 'cheap' option for markers in GE foods,' says Jon Carapiet from GE free NZ in food and environment.
"It is foolish to assume such abuses of one of our most important medical tools can continue without nature and its complex microbial systems 'biting back'".


Jon Carapiet 0210 507 681


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