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Did Monsanto breach GE rat-feeding declaration?

Did Monsanto breach GE rat-feeding declaration?

The Green Party is demanding to know why Monsanto still hasn’t provided FSANZ with the adverse rat-feeding data on their GE corn MON 863, despite supposedly signing a declaration it would reveal all the facts relevant to its approval application.

“We have now established that Monsanto is required to sign a statutory declaration with each application it submits to Food Standards Australia New Zealand, declaring that it has not withheld any information that might prejudice its application,” said Sue Kedgley, the Green Party’s Safe Food Spokesperson,

“It now appears that Monsanto has breached the terms of such a declaration by withholding this 90-day study showing abnormalities in rats fed MON863. This is a serious matter that calls into question the integrity of the entire GE food assessment process.

“Just yesterday the media reported that 11 international medical journals have adopted a collective policy that adverse effects of pharmaceutical testing must be released by companies. Surely the same standard of care should apply to food?”

Ms Kedgley has today written to FSANZ asking them to confirm that Monsanto signed the required declaration, why Monsanto had withheld their adverse study when they first submitted MON863 for approval and to confirm that this breached the terms of such a declaration. She also wants to know why Monsanto is still withholding the full data of the rat-feeding study and their original summary.

“FSANZ guidelines clearly state that companies must supply them with copies of original reports and that summaries do not contain adequate material. Given these guidelines, why is Monsanto still refusing to hand over the raw data?

The Green Party now has the report by France’s Commission du Genie Biomoleculaire (CGB) that denied approval to MON863 and which was the basis of the Le Monde article that broke the rat-feeding story. The Party is still to have it formally translated, but a French reader has confirmed that it matches with the Paris newspaper’s story.

“We call upon FSANZ to make the CGB report on MON863 available in English on its website so that independent scientists can evaluate it.

“Given that this genetically engineered corn is likely to be present, unlabelled, in hundreds of foods on sale in New Zealand, it is urgent that its safety is independently verified and the full data showing abnormalities in rats is made available for independent expert and public scrutiny,” said Ms Kedgley.

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