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Food allegations point to massive breach of trust

10 October 2008

Unsafe food allegations point to massive breach of trust

The Green Party is calling for an independent review into the New Zealand Food Safety Authority's decision-making processes following allegations the agency hushed-up its own report which questioned the safety of GE Corn variety MON863 for human consumption.

"The procedures and scientific basis for the decision made by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority need to be reviewed by independent, overseas scientists in the wake of these damning allegations," Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

"If correct, NZFSA will have grossly failed in its trusted position to look after New Zealand's food supply and public health. I cannot see how NZFSA could remain unchanged in the trusted position they occupy - the guardians of the nation's food supplies," Ms Fitzsimons says.

In 2005, the Green Party drew the NZFSA's attention to a French report which showed serious organ deformity in rats which had been fed the GE corn variety for only 90 days. The Green Party questioned then how MON863 could possibly be approved for New Zealand children to eat when it was clearly not safe for rats.

Later the study, published by Seralini, caused the EU Environment Ministers to decide the product was not safe for release - but this was overruled by bureaucrats in the EU Secretariat.

"The papers obtained by the Sustainability Council, and the allegations they have made as a result, are of the utmost seriousness, and there must now be an urgent, independent review of the agency," Green Party Health Spokesperson Sue Kedgley says.

"With a Government agency covering up vital, scientific information about our food supply, this would be New Zealand's own version of China's poisoned milk scandal.

"These allegations go to the heart of whether consumers can trust the NZFSA.

"These revelations reinforce consumer perception that the NZFSA is a rubber stamp agency whose main purpose is to downplay any food safety concerns and reassure consumers, rather than protect them and public health," Ms Kedgley says.


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