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Illegal GE ingredients could be in our food

Illegal GE ingredients could be in our food, say Greens

There is no monitoring or enforcement of any of the genetically engineered ingredients in our food supply, the Green Party revealed today.

This is despite a standard - that came into force on May 13, 1999 - making it illegal for manufacturers to use any genetically engineered ingredients in food other than those on a provisionally approved list, Sue Kedgley, the Green Party's Health Spokesperson, said today.

The Health Department is supposed to monitor the standard to ensure that all food manufacturers are complying with it, but it is not doing so and has said food importers should ensure the food complies, Ms Kedgley said.

Leading food manufacturers in New Zealand have also made it clear, earlier in the week, that even they don't know what genetically engineered ingredients are in some of the foods they produce.

This means that they are not complying with the standard on genetically engineered food (A 18) which requires them to be certain that only specific genetically engineered ingredients that have been given provisional approval by ANZFA are contained in their products, she said.

"This means that there is no way of knowing whether there are illegal genetically engineered ingredients in our food supply.

"It's an alarming situation. It means that genetically engineered ingredients, which have never been assessed for their safety by our health authorities, could be in the food we eat.

"When doctors are warning that genetically engineered ingredients could contain new toxins and allergens, and when there has been no long term testing of any of these genetically ingredients to see whether they could cause cancer, immune system damage or other adverse health effects, the consumer has every right to feel outraged and alarmed," Ms Kedgley said.

Sue Kedgley: 04 384 9123 Adam Shelton: Green Party parliamentary media officer: 04 470 6723


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