GE Free New Zealand in Food & Environment, 31st March 2005

EU Seeks New GE Testing System: NZ Urged to Halt GE Approvals

New Zealand should follow the lead of the EU in its decision to acknowledge the need for further research into GE foods and should stop FSANZ from proceeding with further approvals.

The European Commission's call for tenders to undertake the first long term analysis of the effect of GE food on humans and animals is a major acknowledgment that GE foods are different to non -GE food, presenting risks that need further research.

The EU study seeks to identify the knowledge gaps created by the unique processes involved in genetic transformation and to look at the cumulative long term effects of different transgenic herbicide and insect resistant crops on health of animals and humans.

"GE Free (NZ) in food and environment are applauding this initiative by the European Commission. It's astonishing it hasnt been done before.It is a major breakthrough after many years of scientific concerns being ignored" said Claire Bleakley President of GE Free (NZ) in food and environment.

"In the light of the EU move it's the New Zealand government's duty to halt approvals by FSANZ which we they have continued to make despite the information gaps," she says.

"These studies developed with clinical diagnostic tests should have been a prerequisite before any GE foods were introduced into the food chain. We have never been able to fully rely on unpublished un- peer reviewed industry data and the International Food Safety Authorities approval processes have been a farce".

Results on safety will be too late for the GE crops already released, but all foods should be subject to reappraisal under the newly-developed testing regimes.

The UK Conservative party recently announced it would introduce an immediate moratorium on GE crops if it was elected this year and the EU decision is yet another signal that New Zealand agricultural Companies should move to develop sustainable non-transgenic plants This is already being done very successfully with cereals like rice that have elevated zinc, Vitamin A levels, without recourse to unstable GE techniques.

GE Free calls the New Zealand Government and the Food Standards Authority (FSANZ) to postpone all new applications to allow GE into our food chain. There is still no clinical diagnostic tests for a suspected GE allergies or illness as there has been rising evidence of harm with confirmation that GE is not substantially equivalent and is able to survive the digestive process in humans and causes changes to organs in animals.

These studies found in Ready RoundUp (RR) and Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) that

  • The Soy transgene (RR) survived the stomach and small intestine digestive juices in Humans
  • GE tomatoes (RR) fed to rats: developed stomach lesions with seven out of 40 deaths in two weeks.
  • GE Potatoes fed to rats: developed a lowered immune system, over growth in intestinal villi and brain, livers and testicle inhibition.
  • GM soy (RR) fed to rats: had distinct changes in liver and pancreatic cell formation
  • Livers, hearts of rats fed GM canola (RR) were heavier, however they lost weight.
  • False pregnancies or sterility in Pigs fed GM corn were reported on several American Midwest farms
  • Cows fed GM corn (Bt) in Germany died mysteriously.
  • Twice the number of chickens died when fed GM corn (Bt) compared with those fed natural corn.
  • Rats in the MON 863 (Bt) found elevated white blood cell counts, abnormalities in the kidney's.
A moratorium on all GE crops in food and the environment must be instigated until the new testing regimes are set up and the studies have been completed.

Claire Bleakely
06 3089842


GM effects on human and animal health and the environment - call for tenders

[Date: 2005-03-24]

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