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King must reveal GE baby food products

4 September, 2003

King must reveal GE baby food products

Green MP Sue Kedgley today renewed her call for the Minister of Health Annette King to reveal the names of the four soy infant formula products found to be contaminated with genetically engineered ingredients.

There are only four infant soy formula products listed on the Ministry of Health food database. A recent report into GE labelling compliance found that all four soy products on sale in New Zealand tested positive for GE contamination. Annette King has so far refused to reveal what these soy products were.

"I call on the Minister to tell New Zealand parents the names of the four brands of soy infant formula on sale in New Zealand that were found to be contaminated with genetically engineered soy," said Ms Kedgley, the Green spokesperson for Food Safety.

The Ministry of Health's Manufactured Foods Database (www.mfd.co.nz) lists four infant 'free of milk' foods: Karicare Soya 1 Starter Formula, Karicare Soya 2 Follow-on Formula, Infasoy and Infasoy Progress.

"It's a matter of great public concern what soy baby foods have tested positive for GE contamination and it is certainly in the public interest for the Ministry to clarify which ones they are. That's all we're asking for.

"Given that the United Kingdom Royal Society have expressed severe reservations about the feeding of GE contaminated food to infants, when it has never been tested on people, babies or for its long term health effects, the Minister has a moral obligation to tell New Zealand parents which ones are contaminated here," said Ms Kedgley.

"Effectively Annette King is denying parents the freedom to choose whether or not they want their babies to eat GE products."

Despite calls to boycott all infant soy products and pleas from concerned parents to be told the names of infant formulas which the Ministry of Health found to be contaminated, Ms King has kept the vital information secret.

"It is totally unacceptable for the Minister to continue suppressing the names of GE contaminated baby food and for Damien O'Conner, replying to my parliamentary questions on her behalf, to say that because he's never heard of anyone dying from eating GE food then it must be safe," said Ms Kedgley.

Ms Kedgley pointed out that taxpayers had paid for the tests, and said the public had a right to know the results of tests it had paid for.

ENDS

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