Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Government Must Separate GE Foods In New Zealand Shops

Publishers of ORGANIC NZ
15 October 2011
Government Must Separate GE Foods In New Zealand Shop Shelves

New Zealand food labelling of genetically engineered (GE) food components needs to be investigated urgently, according to the Soil & Health Association of New Zealand.

“Soil & Health challenges New Zealand’s Minister of Consumer Affairs Simon Power, and Minister for Food Safety Kate Wilkinson, to find any accurately labelled food products containing genetically engineered ingredients in super market shelves,” said Soil & Health-Organic NZ spokesperson Steffan Browning.

World Food Day on October 16 is being marked internationally by activities showing the lack of labelling on GE foods, and a push against GE foods by events such as Right2Know and Millions Against Monsanto.(1,2)

Seventy different (GE) food lines and many GE food additives have been approved for New Zealand consumption by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), with no GE food applications having been turned down, although risks to human safety have been shown in animal feeding studies.(3)

Labelling of foods containing GE ingredients in New Zealand is practically invisible although GE soybean imports from the USA and Brazil have increased significantly and are widely used in processed foods including breads.

“USA consumers are calling for legislation to cover GE foods. New Zealand has such legislation, but it is not enforced,” said Mr Browning.(4)

“NZFSA has the role of ensuring foods containing GE/GM are labeled in accordance with the standard in the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, but is hopeless at monitoring it.”

“When was there a comprehensive study taken by NZFSA to ensure consumers have the choice between GE and non-GE in their diets?”

“New Zealand should follow the Cypriot Parliament’s lead that gives consumers the choice of whether or not to eat GE foods, especially as reports casts doubt on GE food safety,” said Mr Browning.

The Cypriot Parliament passed a bill in April that will has GE foods placed on separate shelves to non-GE foods, and a French report showed weaknesses in GE food safety evaluation, and pointed to possible kidney, liver and reproductive health concerns. (5,6)

“Democracy, despite pressure from the USA, has led to the people of Cyprus getting the type of consumer choice that New Zealanders should be able to expect.”

“GE foods, of which New Zealand allows approximately 70 different GE lines, spread through numerous processed products, must now be displayed on separate shelves in supermarkets and shops in Cyprus, with strong fines for non-compliance. The Cypriots are serious.”

“Soil & Health – Organic NZ reported last year that there were 64 plus GE food lines allowed into the New Zealand food supply, consisting of GE corn, soya, alfalfa, potatoes, canola, cotton, sugar beet and rice, and numerous GE processing aids. This has increased to approximately seventy with several applications in process at any one time,” said Mr Browning.

“FSANZ has yet to turn a GE food application down despite growing concern over GE food safety and flimsy food safety studies. Independent studies show very real risks but the same regulators that take decades to ban now discontinued pesticides continue to protect trade interests ahead of consumers.”

“The latest Seralini report uses available data to show that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), that FSANZ and NZFSA look to, is not testing adequately for health risks from GE foods. Independent research has previously shown organ, hormone and reproductive changes in animal GE feeding studies.”(7)

Soil & Health – Organic NZ has an Organic 2020 vision similar to the USA and Cypriot consumers protesting today. It is for a GE Free food and environment with clear choice of what is consumed.

Oranga nuku - oranga kai - oranga tāngata. Healthy soil – Healthy food – Healthy people.


Notes
(1) http://organicconsumers.org/monsanto/index.cfm
(2) http://www.right2knowmarch.org/
(3) http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/consumerinformation/gmfoods/gmcurrentapplication1030.cfm
(4) http://www.foodsafety.govt.nz/elibrary/industry/nzfsa-food-labelling-guide/labelling-guide13-sec-13-genetically-modified-food-declarations-v5.pdf
(5) http://www.cyprus-mail.com/cyprus/separate-shelves-gm-foods-now-law/20110408
(6) http://www.enveurope.com/content/23/1/10/
(7) Seralini et al have conducted studies showing organ damage in rats fed GE food. The latest report is using the material including industry funded studies and shows the food safety authority is not adequately testing GE foods. Extract from latest French report (6): The 90-day-long tests are insufficient to evaluate chronic toxicity, and the signs highlighted in the kidneys and livers could be the onset of chronic diseases. However, no minimal length for the tests is yet obligatory for any of the GMOs cultivated on a large scale, and this is socially unacceptable in terms of consumer health protection. We are suggesting that the studies should be improved and prolonged, as well as being made compulsory, and that the sexual hormones should be assessed too, and moreover, reproductive and multigenerational studies ought to be conducted too.

The Soil & Health Association of New Zealand Inc

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

New Reports: Flood Risk From Rain And Sea Under Climate Change

One report looks at what would happen when rivers are flooded by heavy rain and storms, while the other examines flooding exposure in coastal and harbour areas and how that might change with sea-level rise.

Their findings show that across the country almost 700,000 people and 411,516 buildings worth $135 billion are presently exposed to river flooding in the event of extreme weather events...

There is near certainty that the sea will rise 20-30 cm by 2040. By the end of the century, depending on whether global greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, it could rise by between 0.5 to 1.1 m, which could add an additional 116,000 people exposed to extreme coastal storm flooding. More>>

ALSO:

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On The Commerce Commission Fuel Report

The interim Commerce Commission report on the fuel industry will do nothing to endear the major oil companies to the New Zealand public... More>>

ALSO:

Emergency Govt Bill: Overriding Local Licensing For The Rugby

“It’s pretty clear some clubs are having difficulty persuading their district licensing committees to grant a special licence to extend their hours for this obviously special event, and so it makes sense for Parliament to allow clubs to meet a community desire." More>>

ALSO:

Leaving Contract Early: KiwiBuild Programme Losing Another Top Boss

Ms O'Sullivan began a six-month contract as head of KiwiBuild Commercial in February, but the Housing Ministry has confirmed she has resigned and will depart a month early to take up a new job. More>>

ALSO:

Proposed National Policy Statement: Helping Our Cities Grow Up And Out

“We need a new approach to planning that allows our cities to grow up, especially in city centres and around transport connections. We also have to allow cities to expand in a way that protects our special heritage areas, the natural environment and highly productive land." More>>

ALSO:

Ombudsman's Report: Ngāpuhi Elder 'Shocked' By Conditions At Ngawha Prison

A prominent Ngāpuhi elder is shocked to find inmates at Ngawha Prison are denied water and forced to relieve themselves in the exercise yard... Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has released a report highly critical of conditions at the Northland prison. More>>

ALSO:

Promises: Independent Election Policy Costing Unit A Step Closer

The creation of an entity to provide political parties with independent and non-partisan policy costings is a step closer today, according to Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Associate Finance Minister James Shaw. More>>

ALSO:

School's In: Primary And Intermediate Principals Accept New Offer

Primary and intermediate school principals have voted to accept a new settlement from the Ministry of Education, which includes entrenched pay parity with secondary principals. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA On 'Rawshark' Investigation: Multiple Police Failings In Hager Searches Confirmed

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that the Police's unlawful search of Nicky Hager's property in October 2014 resulted from an unwitting neglect of duty and did not amount to misconduct by any individual officer... More>>

ALSO:

Broadcasting Standards: Decisions On Coverage Of Mosque Attacks

The Authority upheld one of these complaints, finding that the use of extensive excerpts from the alleged attacker’s livestream video on Sky News New Zealand had the potential to cause significant distress to audiences in New Zealand, and particularly to the family and friends of victims, and the wider Muslim community. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels