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Authorities Slow to Recall GE Maize Linked to Tumours

Authorities Slow to Recall GE Maize Linked to Tumours

A request by GE-Free NZ for Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to recall Monsanto’s RoundUp resistant GE maize (FSANZ approval code A146) remains unanswered, despite weeks passing since publication of concerning results from the first life- time study of rats consuming the maize.
 
The shocking finding prompted action by Russia and Europe to immediately suspend imports of the GE maize whilst they assess the report, but FSANZ appears to have buried its head in the sand.

The study found abnormalities in the liver and kidney within the first 90 days however the most shocking results found that after 4 months tumours formed in the rats fed the GE maize.  By the end of the study 70% of the GE fed rats had tumours whereas the control rats where significantly healthier despite all the test animals being a breed that is “tumour prone” and used in previous short-term tests.

It is highly concerning that FSANZ has not even responded to the report.  However, authorities may be trying to create a smokescreen by choosing this time to re-release FSANZ's assessment of another peer reviewed report by Aris and Leblanc on detection of the endotoxin Cry Ab1 in fetal blood. This action follows a pattern of refusal to acknowledge studies that challenge FSANZ's pre-determined opinion on the safety of GE foods.
 
“FSANZ experts are highly conflicted. These experts appear willing to disregard scientific findings of deleterious health effects from long term ingestion of GE foods, simply on the basis of personal belief,” said Claire Bleakley, president of GE-Free NZ in food and environment.

“Our GE foods are not being approved on science but opinion.”
 
It is unclear how much of the implicated GE-maize is on sale in New Zealand, imported from the US or other countries.

The latest information from South Africa says that the GE maize comprises up to 40% of the maize grown in the country.  GE-Free NZ has been trying to find out for two years what is in the South African maize-meal and breakfast cereal imported by Zebra Zoo and sold at Countdown and South African shops. 

FSANZ says they have no money to test these foods and it is up to the companies selling them.  The companies selling them say that it is FSANZ job, and that they rely on FSANZ to ensure food safety. 
 
“When supermarkets buck their own responsibilities and are willing to disregard clear evidence of harmful effects from food they may be selling, consumers must start shopping in other places that they can trust,” said Claire Bleakley.
 
The FSANZ regulators are showing that they cannot make decisions based on independent science though they rubber stamp GE applications, and in the case of the latest 2,4-D corn and soy doing so with no data at all about the health effects.
 
The health of the nation is at stake and something must be done immediately.

ENDS

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