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.

ENDS:

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Hager Revelations: Inquiry Into NZSIS Release Of Goff Docs

The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (IGIS), Cheryl Gwyn, announced today that she would be instituting an inquiry concerning allegations that the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) might have released official information to Mr Cameron Slater, regarding briefings provided to the then Leader of the Opposition, for political purposes...

“I am satisfied there is a sufficient public interest justifying the commencement of an own-motion inquiry into the substance of the issues raised with my Office,” said Ms Gwyn. More>>

Goff: Director’s Letter Contradicts Key’s Claims

At yesterday’s media standup, when asked on the topic John Key said ‘I wasn’t told’...
“In a letter dated November 2011 former SIS director Warren Tucker states three times that ‘in accordance with the usual practice of keeping the minister informed’ the Prime Minister had been told. More>>

  • Image Link - Key maintains he wasn't told about OIA - Newstalk ZB

  •  

    Parliament Today:

    Fish Pun Warning: By Hoki! It’s Labour’s Fisheries Policy

    A Labour Government will protect the iconic Kiwi tradition of fishing by improving access to the coast, protecting the rights of recreational fishers and reviewing snapper restrictions, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. More>>

    ALSO:

    It's Official: Governor General Gives Direction To Conduct Election

    The Governor General has signed the writ directing the Electoral Commission to conduct the General Election on 20 September 2014. This is the formal authority to run the 2014 election, and enables candidate nominations to open tomorrow Thursday 21 August 2014. More>>

    Gordon Campbell: No More Mr Nice Guy

    When future historians seek to identify the exact moment when the prime ministerial career of John Key hit the downward slope, they may well point to Key’s interview yesterday with Guyon Espiner on RNZ’s Morning Report. More>>

    ALSO:

    Dirty (Politics) Weekend: Collins’ Admission Reason For Key To Act

    "Despite claiming that the evidence about her in Nicky Hager's book was ‘false’ Judith Collins has now been forced to admit that she did send information about a Ministerial Services staff member to Cameron Slater for him to use in a baseless smear campaign. More>>

    ALSO:

    Potential Disasters: Underground Coal Fire On Denniston Plateau

    Forest & Bird says one or more coal fires have broken out beneath the Denniston Plateau, and that the Department of Conservation (DOC) must stop Bathurst Resources’ preparatory mining work going on there until the fire or fires are extinguished. More>>

    ALSO:

    Bikes: Nats Plan $100 Million For Urban Cycleways

    Prime Minister John Key has today announced $100 million in new funding will be made available over the next four years to accelerate cycleways in urban centres. More>>

    ALSO:

    New Tax Bracket, Child Poverty Fund: Greens Launch Billion Dollar Plan To Reduce Child Poverty

    The Green Party has launched a billion dollar package to significantly reduce child poverty in New Zealand. The details of the plan were released at the party’s campaign launch in Auckland. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Politics
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news