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More GE Food Heads For Our Shelves

Consumers Sold Out Again As More GE Food Heads For Our Shelves

Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today said consumers will be angry to learn that more genetically engineered foods have been approved for sale in New Zealand, even while a Royal Commission is sitting to consider what role GE should play in New Zealand's future.

The Australia New Zealand Food Authority (ANZFA) -has said it failed to find any evidence that the four genetically engineered foods - corn, beetroot, cotton and canola posed safety threats to either consumers or the environment.

However Ms Fitzsimons said a lack of evidence of harm was completely different from proof of safety and described food testing procedures as "pathetic".

"No genetically engineered foods are subject to the comprehensive testing protocols that are require for medicines," she said, "and as a result most possible risks are simply not studied."

Ms Fitzsimons said evidence presented to the Royal Commission on GM had overwhelmingly shown that there is no scientific basis for the way food safety is currently assessed.

She also said these foods would now be heading unlabelled for New Zealand shelves because New Zealand had delegated the question of food safety to the trans-Tasman ANZFA, on which we only have one seat.

"People who wish to avoid GM foods will now have to add beetroot to the list of processed foods they should avoid," said Ms Fitzsimons. "Many consumers are already avoiding corn because another strain of genetically engineered corn has already been approved for sale here.

"Corn and beetroot grown in New Zealand should still be GE free as there is no approval to import any living GE organism to grow in New Zealand," she said.

"As consumers are forced to look harder and harder to try and avoid genetically engineered foods the advantages of remaining a GE free nation just look better and better."

Jeanette Fitzsimons: 07 868 6641, 025 586 068 Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 04 470 6719, 021 440 090

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