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


Minister must reject 'suicide chemical' GE soybean

'Put Food Safety First': Minister must reject 'suicide chemical' GE soybean.

Food safety must be the priority for New Zealand and the government should reject a proposal to allow yet more GE food sprayed with selective herbicides and chemicals.

On 19th December Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) made a recommendation to the Food Minister, Nikki Kaye, to approve Syngenta’s highly contentious new herbicide tolerant soybean (A1081) [1].

This Soyabean has two new GE genes to make it tolerant to the herbicides glufosinate ammonium (BUSTA) and Syngenta’s Mesotrione. Mesotrione is an extremely potent inhibitor of the enzyme 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPPD), blocking the biochemical pathway that converts essential amino acids, phenylalanine and tyrosine [1] and Vitamin E synthesis, with the potential to cause life threatening Type III tyrosinemia, anxiety and depression [2]

"The Minister must reject the proposal by FSANZ to allow this GE product," said Jon Carapiet, spokesman for GE-free NZ in food and environment.

"The FSANZ report is irresponsible in its positive view of this next generation of GMOs. The Minister must not be lulled into believing the product has been proven safe when it has not."

The report's final conclusion says:

“No potential public health and safety concerns have been identified in the assessment of soybean line SYHT0H2. On the basis of the data provided in the present Application, and other available information, food derived from soybean line SYHT0H2 is considered to be as safe for human consumption as food derived from conventional soybean cultivars” [3]

Yet the Syngenta data sheet [4] outlines the dangers of Mesotrione and it's components previously identified in animal studies, and warns that inhalation or ingestion may cause central nervous system effects, severe weight loss, cataracts, embryonic feral defects, liver and kidney damage and blood abnormalities.

Nevertheless, the product is set to be given the rubber stamp of approval, unless the Minister takes action to halt it.

“This shows that yet again approvals of GE foods are not made with people in mind but rather are driven by the opinion of regulators that GE is completely safe. This basic belief continues to be used as an excuse for approvals that risk endangering consumers," said Claire Bleakley, president of GE Free NZ.

“The recommendation shows how blatantly the assessors flaunt their position of power. There is no evaluation or tools to diagnose possible medical problems posed by this GE food, nor proof that this new Soybean line - which is not approved anywhere else in the world - is safe. Yet once again independent scientists and ordinary consumers are being told to shut up and eat it, because officials say it OK."

The Minister is being asked to heed the warnings of experts outside of the industry promoting GE foods. Jeffrey Smith who has just made a whistle-stop tour of New Zealand, met with the Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) in Wellington before Christmas.

He was in alarmed to hear that FSANZ did not evaluate the chemicals in the food - but only the novel DNA.

“One of the incredibly weak arguments that I faced with my meeting with FSANZ was that we should not be worried about the toxicity of the herbicide residues in the crops that are GE. In the Roundup Ready crops the glyphosate can accumulate at higher levels in the food portion because that is the only live portion remaining. What’s a shame… actually tragic, is that there hasn’t been proper monitoring of the food composition in all cases. If it's a poison and its affecting people, then it matters," said Jeffrey Smith.

Though his meeting with FSANZ was disappointing Mr. Smith hailed New Zealand as a beacon of light saying, “there is no question that New Zealand enjoys a unique clean green healthy reputation around the World. NZ has an excellent opportunity to take advantage of an Organic and non-GMO status in ways that are better than other Countries."

"You also have a lot more to loose than other countries, so it's a no brainer!” Jeffery Smith said.

The Minister must call for long term feeding studies that show food safety, before she considers the product for entry into the food chain.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



#soperraid: Police Search Wellington Apartment Of TV3 Journalist

Police on Tuesday morning began searching the home of another Wellington journalist... police were searching the Wellington apartment of TV3’s Heather du Plessis-Allan as part of an investigation into her report on the unlicensed purchase of a rifle. More>>


Relationship Property, Declaratory Judgments, And... New Law Commission To Review Search And Surveillance Law

“This joint review will consider how this law has operated since it was passed, and whether any changes are needed to respond to issues such as the impact of modern technology on the ability of Police and other authorities to prevent and investigate crime,” says Ms Adams. More>>


Housing Issues: Homelessness On The Horizon For Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers who have held down jobs and contributed to the well-being of New Zealand through their taxes may yet become homeless in late middle age or early retirement without urgent Government action, says The Salvation Army. More>>


Treasury Has Doubts On Christchurch Rebuild And... Auditor-General Follows Up On EQC

Despite the improvements made, EQC could still learn better from complaints and improve its customer focus and interactions... Although the programme is nearing completion, EQC needs to provide the best service possible for the home owners whose homes are still to be repaired. More>>


Man Who Banned 'Into The River' Out The Door: Appointments To The Film And Literature Board Of Review

Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne has announced seven appointments to the Film and Literature Board of Review... “The new members of the Board... will provide a strong mix of skills and experience to help the Board carry out its functions, while representing a cross-section of society.” More>>


Climate Marches: New Zealanders March For Solutions Not Pollution

Ahead of the UN Climate Summit in Paris more than 15,000 New Zealanders have taken part in the Peoples Climate march in Auckland, kicking off the largest climate mobilisation the world has ever seen... More>>


Labour: Little Announces New Shadow Cabinet

“Labour had an impressive intake of fresh faces after last year’s election and newest MPs have now had a year to show what they’re made of. This reshuffle rewards hard work and continues my drive to renew our Caucus line up." More>>


Because Reasons: Someone Reckons David Seymour Is Politician Of The Year

Trans Tasman's 11th annual Roll Call has thrown a curve ball this year, ignoring the likes of John Key, Bill English, and Winston Peters to pick its politician of the year from the ranks of the new generation. More>>


Whaling: NZ Deeply Disappointed By Japan's Decision

“New Zealand is strongly opposed to whaling in the Southern Ocean. We call on Japan to take heed of the 2014 International Court of Justice decision and international scientific advice concerning their whaling activities.” More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news