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GE Foods a " non issue despite public concerns.


GE Foods a " non issue despite public concerns.

A consumer forum for the NZFSA in Wellington was told the study of foods containing GE is not part of any risk profile, as it is now considered a "non issue" by the authority.

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority suggest the labelling regime intended to come into force in early December will give sufficient information to the consumer. However, the lack of any long term health studies and use of GE ingredients in many unlabelled products means it a hidden risk that is not being tracked . GE Free New Zealand (in Food and Environment) representative Claire Bleakley said "It appears that any studies, into the health effects of food containing GE ingredients, have fallen through the "gaps" as no department is responsible in ascertaining it safety relying on safety assessments made by the Australia and New Zealand Food Authority. Both viral fragments and antibiotic genes are used in the GE process, new virulent bacteria and antibiotic resistant germs may result from the consumption of GE foods and this needs further research. Recent research in the UK unexpectedly found that stomach bacteria took up herbicide-resistant genes from one meal of GE food."

A comprehensive database intended to collate studies of concern to consumers is the first NZFSA project. GE Free NZ has requested a study into the possible link between recombination of GMO's with gut bacteria and the rise in food born illness. Today's admissions that goals are behind schedule, means chemical risk analysis is still being formulated and food safety regulations are not yet up and running.

An ESR speaker talked about the risk analysis of microbiological hazards and a rise in domestic food born diseases like camplyobacter and e-coli/shigella strain, diseases some think are caused by intensive food production. These two diseases are costing New Zealand over $50 million in lost revenue, the excessive rise being put down to unknown factors.

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