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GE Free NZ supports the NZFSA

GE Free New Zealand PRESS RELEASE –20.7.07

GE Free NZ (in food and environment) supports the NZFSA on their strong stand against the use of Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) in baby formula’s. Though their initial decision to take action is to be congratulated, much more is urgently needed.

Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) are artificially-made inulin sweeteners using bleached white cane sugar and genetically modified (GM) enzymes.

Natural inulin is a safe fructose found in the sunflower, elecampane, Jerusalem artichoke family. Inulin in these plant roots is used in helping with insulin control and is therefore good for diabetics.

However the amount of inulin found in plants is small in comparison to the synthetic GM production techniques that manufacturers of baby food and other products are using. (1)

FOS have been given 'Generally Recommended As Safe' (GRAS) status, but have not been clinically tested despite their use in commercial yoghurts, baby foods, cakes and sweets being marketed as providing beneficial bacteria.

FOS are soluble but inert in the stomach and small intestine though absorbed and synthesised in the colon by bacteria. FOS also stimulates the growth of Klebsiella and possibly other pathogenic organisms. In one study, Klebsiella was found to be associated with certain auto-immune disease.

The use of genetically modified bacteria in the production of sweeteners like aspartame and FOS, is of growing concern having been linked to allergy symptoms, bloating, flatulence and stomach upsets in users. Previously production of L-tryptophan using a GM bacterial process resulted in a very rare disease Eosinophilia myalgia syndrome, killing 37 people and permanently maiming 1500.

“These symptoms could lead to dehydration and severe ill-health for our children and the elderly” says Claire Bleakley of GE Free NZ (in Food and Environment).

“The use of GM artificial sweeteners could be the trigger for the onset of diabetes and stomach problems, and we urgently need more research into the possible link between the use of these sweeteners and chronic diseases. Such ingredients should undergo clinical trials before they are considered for use,” she says.

We would like to ask that the NZFSA follow up these legitimate scientific concerns and extend their precautionary approach to other foods that contain GM ingredients that are increasingly entering our food chain without any independent testing.


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