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Dairy farmers and consumers at risk from unapproved GE Grain

Dairy farmers and consumers at risk from unapproved DDG GE Grain


The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) must immediately test all maize and soy for presence of unapproved GE lines coming from the Americas.

New Zealand is being used as a dumping ground for major quantities of both GE soy and maize (dried distillers grain DDG) to be used for calf, pig and chicken feed. Since China has refused to import DDG due to its unapproved safety status, New Zealand has jumped at the opportunity to import the cheaper untested GE product for its animals.[1]

“Farmers are at the front end of our economy and using GE feed this calving season could be disastrous. Yet again Inghams is one of the leading importers using grain from these shipments," said Claire Bleakley, president of GE Free NZ.

“The people supposed to be caring for our biosecurity are asleep at the wheel. Increased levels of pesticide residues and toxins in feed pose a danger to all of New Zealand’s economy and livelihoods of farmers. The Ministry of Primary Industries appears to have an 'anything goes' policy and are not even testing this grain for residues that could harm the whole industry."

Reports say that New Zealand has imported over 100000 tonnes of GE maize and soy since February.

Zealand trade benefits from being a GE-free agricultural economy and this type of feed will further undermine the economy and the health of animals and consumers.

It is known by authorities that GE DNA can cross the gut barrier and has been found in the meat, milk and embryos of animals and humans.

Argentina’s GE cultivated areas increased 50%, and the loading of toxic agrochemicals increased 858%. There are three main herbicides used, glufosinate, glyphosate and 2,4-D.

When the Australia/New Zealand’s Food Standards (FSANZ) Authority approves GE foods it does not assess the related chemicals and does not require ingestion studies to be conducted by applicants to show if their GE products are safe for either human or animal consumption.

The imports are adding 'dirty feed' to a system already struggling to address issues of 'dirty dairying'.

At a recent conference in China Argentinian Doctor Avila-Vazquez, Physician, Paediatrician and Neonatologist at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, National University of Cordoba, warned of chronic detrimental health effects of GE crops and their related pesticides. In the four years between 2004 -2008 cancer rates in regions with GE production have increased by 45%.

Increases in reproductive disorders, spontaneous abortions, children born with congenital abnormalities like Spina Bifida and Downs Syndrome have reached epidemic levels. [2]

U.S. Professor Huber confirmed this from his study in the Yakima Valley (2014), where in the last few years the GE planted valley has suffered a rise in congenital defects like anencephaly. [3]

It is urgent that The Ministry of Primary Industries protects the health of consumers and animals by properly regulating imports and testing consignments coming into the country to see if the grains are approved GE lines and the chemical residue levels are within the safe limits.

MPI have a moral duty to do so, as farmers and consumers have been left in the dark. There is no legal requirement to label foods derived from animals raised on these GE products, so enforcement of basic safety standards is vital, yet is being ignored by officials.

Consumers are angry at the way the MPI are turning a blind eye to the deleterious effects of pesticide-laden GE animal foods.

References:

[1] http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/31/usa-corn-ddgs-idUSL2N0KA0UQ20131231

[2] http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2013/10/agrochemical_spraying_in_argen.html

[3] http://farmwars.info/?p=11796

Ends


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