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GE regime a giant step back for mankind - Bunkle

“Meaningless and deliberately confusing GE food labelling is a disaster for food safety”, says Phillida Bunkle, Alliance Spokesperson on Health and the Environment.

Responding to the draft standard on labeling for genetically engineered foods released by the Australia New Zealand Food Authority today Phillida described it as “A huge backward step for New Zealand consumers. This standard will cement in place everything I have fought against for three years.”

Under the draft standard, all known GE foods can be sold in this country without safety testing and they will be required to carry labels which are totally meaningless and deliberately confusing.

ANZFA’s proposed labeling is confused by having five different categories, including two “may contain” provisions. The labels are ambiguous because they include categories based on content and also categories based on food source. This confusion is a let out which will mean food processors do not have to segregate and trace their ingredients to source which is the only way to ensure clear labeling.

GE foods will be sold in this country without any safety testing because all foods sold or originating from the United States will be automatically accepted in New Zealand. The American position accepts foods without any pre-market testing, or any evidence of safety merely on the manufacturers own assurance.

The disaster of this regime is magnified by an exemption which will allow products from animals treated or fed genetically modified substances to be sold without any testing or labeling at all.

This will allow milk from cows given genetically modified growth stimulants, such as recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), to be imported without testing or labeling. The very, very serious evidence that this milk may damage human health, including causing cancers, will not be considered because of this exemption.

Neither will there be testing or labeling of dairy products from cows fed genetically modified soy, although they have an unexplained higher fat content in their milk, probably because of the high estrogen content of modified soy fed to them.

There will be no way of protecting the public from these risks or even informing them if this disastrous ANZFA standard is adopted.

The Alliance will reverse this backward step immediately on election.


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