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PSRG Urges Extensive Research On Food Safety

Press Release from Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics:


Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics ask the New Zealand government to set up research into GE food safety. To date there has been little independent testing of GE foods.

By combining the research with stricter food labelling, New Zealand's 'knowledge wave' policy could benefit, and lead, the world.

Health Canada's Centre for Surveillance Co-ordination(1) is monitoring consumers to see if they become sick ingesting GE foods, pesticides and vaccines. However, this monitoring is faltering because Canada has no labelling laws and because of the difficulties tracking subjects. Instituting stricter labelling laws, and the much smaller NZ community, should enable NZ to set monitoring standards Canada cannot meet.

The French food safety authority, Afssa,(2) has urged research into the impacts of prolonged exposure to GE foods and the risks of the gradual development of allergic reactions. Afssa says existing testing procedures, designed to identify acute toxicity, should be complemented with tests for sub-chronic toxicity, and that tests must assess the long-term impacts on immune, reproductive and hormonal systems.

Reports by the Royal Societies of Canada and the UK urge caution over the consumption of GE foods. The UK report raised concerns that infants ingesting GE soy may be more vulnerable than adults to developing allergies. Because soy-based formulas are often their only food source, any problems may be magnified.

(226 words)

References:

1. ww.fas.usda.gov; GAIN Report #CA2016 19 February 2002.

2. www.afssa.fr.

www.rsc.ca/foodbiotechnology/GMreportEN.pdf.

Enquiries may be directed to the Secretary, PSRG at roberta@clear.net.nz or on 64 7 576 5721.

ENDS


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