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

 


Approval of GE Salmon is a Concern for New Zealand


Approval of GE Salmon is a Concern for New Zealand (GE-Free NZ Press release)

The latest announcement by the US government's FDA that it is set to approve the sale of genetically engineered salmon raises food safety concerns for New Zealand (1).

New Zealand has signed a world-first mutual recognition agreement with the FDA announced last month (2), and there is concern that New Zealand consumers could be forced to accept salmon that has been genetically engineered to accelerate its growth.

The FDA decision has caused alarm in the United States (3) because the GE fish could be sold without any safety testing and would not be labelled, leaving consumers 'none the wiser'.

GE-free NZ (in food and environment) has written an urgent request for information to Kate Wilkinson - Minister for food safety, seeking guarantees that the New Zealand government will require feeding trials be conducted to prove food safety before the GE salmon can be considered for sale here.

The public also need to know that New Zealand will not be forced into allowing importation of GE salmon without it being labelled.

The FDA has used the idea of 'substantial equivalence' (4) to explain why it will not require independent feeding studies of the new GE fish. The food safety risks of fast-growing GE salmon have been deemed insignificant by the FDA, despite the absence of independent research into potential heath or epigenetic effects.

"The FDA is ignoring American consumers. We want the Minister to reassure consumers in New Zealand that no GE salmon will be sold unlabelled and untested in this country," says Jon Carapiet, national spokesman for GE-free NZ (in food and environment).

Experiments with GE salmon took place in New Zealand until it was revealed that some of the GE fish had deformed heads. There was also a threat to bio-security as the mesh from the experimental tanks was discovered to have been inadequate to prevent escape of GE salmon eggs into the environment (5).

The unique mutual-recognition agreement with the FDA may already be backfiring by putting New Zealanders at risk from experimental GE fish that could be forced into our market without food safety tests and without labelling to allow consumers the choice to avoid it.

New Zealand must withdraw from its agreement with the FDA and reject the TPP trade negotiations, if the price to pay is forced acceptance of lower safety standards, or "deception marketing" that deliberately keeps consumers in the dark in order to sell GE salmon.

--

References
1) On December 21, 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released an Environmental Assessment (EA) with a “Finding of No Significant Impact” on AquaBounty AquaAdvantage transgenic salmon.
http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/2012/12/21/obama-administration-snubs-risks-moves-forward-with-ge-salmon-approval/
2) http://www.mpi.govt.nz/news-resources/news/nz-food-safety-recognition
3) http://ge-fish.org/
4) http://www.i-sis.org.uk/subst.php
5) http://www.royalsociety.org.nz/2000/02/25/genetic-salmon-n-l-2/

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Mana Māori: Kawenata Unites Kaupapa Māori Parties

The Māori Party and Mana Party have signed a historic agreement today to unite Māori politically.

Māori Party president Tukoroirangi Morgan said the kawenata or agreement was a huge step forward for Māori in the lead up to the general elections.

"Today is an important day for the Māori nation because today is when the country's only two kaupapa Māori political parties unite to work tactically together in the best interests of our people," says Mr Morgan. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Immigration: Short Reprieve For Nine Indian Students

A temporary hold on deportations of nine Indian students is a step in the right direction but the Government urgently needs to implement safeguards to stop further injustices to more international students, the Green Party says. More>>

EARLIER:

Welfare: WINZ Breaching Privacy Laws With WINZ Vetting Rules

E tū, the union for security guards, says WINZ may be breaching privacy laws with its new screening process for people visiting WINZ offices. The vetting requires WINZ security guards to check photo ID and whether visitors to WINZ offices have an appointment.More>>

ALSO:

Turnbull Visit: Leaders’ Talks Cement Trade Relations, Science Agreement

Mr English met with Prime Minister Turnbull in Queenstown today to discuss common approaches to bilateral and international issues, including trade and science and innovation. Mr English also thanked Mr Turnbull for Australia’s offer of support for those fighting the fires on the Port Hills in Christchurch. More>>

ALSO:

Youth Guarantee: Upskilling Fund Used For Retraining

News that one in five of the people enrolling in Youth Guarantee already hold qualifications at the level they’re enrolling in highlights the failure of the scheme to reach the disengaged young people it was set up to assist, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. More>>

ALSO:

Port Hills Fire: Midday Update, Monday 20 February

• 9 homes destroyed
• 2 homes with partial damage. Damage includes things like cracked windows, heat damage.
• 3 properties with damage to other external structures e.g sheds or outbuildings More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On What Trump May Mean For Us

So far not much effort has been put into tracing the possible implications for New Zealand of the stream of executive orders and tweets that have been pouring from the Oval Office. Unfortunately, we may not simply be drive-by rubberneckers at this car wreck for much longer. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news