Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 

British Medical Association Says Stop NZ GM Trials


British Medical Association calls for stop to GM trials- a lesson for NZ

Scotland's leading national newspaper has reported that the British Medical Association is demanding a stop to GM crop trials in a move that must be taken seriously by New Zealand authorities.

" New Zealand authorities cannot pretend that BMA concerns do not exist and push on for GM release here," said Jon Carapiet from GE-Free NZ in food and environment.

" The government's biotechnology strategy must reflect this medical advice or it will be rejected by the wider community," he warned.

The Scotsman reported on 19 November that senior doctors have demanded an immediate halt to genetically modified crop trials being undertaken in Scotland.

The British Medical Association (BMA) has warned that insufficient care is being taken to protect public health.The demand that there should be a moratorium on any further planting of GM crops on a commercial basis is made in a submission to the Scottish parliament's health committee.

The BMA originally set out its case against the further planting of commercially produced GM crops in 1999, but its latest attack is made with the benefit of more information. It will be presented to the health committee, which is conducting an inquiry into GM crops.

The BMA was asked by the health committee if it believed the Executive should prevent GM crop trials from continuing on the grounds that the policy is against "the precautionary principle to allow them to continue". The BMA responded: "Yes. As with scientific matters, it can be difficult and time consuming to demonstrate safety to an acceptable standard. Safety is a relative matter and is generally based on the results of a robust and thorough search for possible harm.

"There has not yet been a robust and thorough search into the potentiallyharmful effects of GM foodstuffs on human health. On the basis of the precautionary principle, farm-scale trials should not be allowed to continue."

The BMA, which will be represented at the committee hearing by Dr Charles Saunders, a specialist in public health issues, will point out to the MSPs that, following public health disasters such as BSE and foot and mouth disease, public confidence in the scientific community's approach to agriculture has been undermined.

It adds: "Scientists, farmers and politicians need to re-establish public trust. Further research is required into the health and environmental effects of GMOs".

"This may be executed in such a way as not to expose the population to possibly irreversible environmental risk, which may, in turn, have as yet unquantified public health implications."

The BMA refers in its document to worries about the issue of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance "markers" help identify GM plants and there is evidence that these genes may be transferred to non-GM plants and "possibly into pathogenic organisms causing human disease", it warns.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Retail: International Websites To Pay GST

New rules would be aimed at imported goods valued at or below $1,000. Customs would retain responsibility for collecting GST on imported parcels valued more than $1,000. More>>

ALSO:

High-Level Advice: PM’s Business Advisory Council Membership Announced

The Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council brings together a mix of experts, six women and seven men with small to large business experience, from across New Zealand, to provide advice. More>>

ALSO:

Improving: Report Shows New Zealand Air Quality 'Good'

Our air 2018, produced by the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ, shows that while some previously known issues persist, progress has been made and levels of some pollutants are declining. More>>

ALSO:

Greenpeace: Govt Extends OMV Exploration Permit

The Government has just granted oil giant OMV a two-year extension to drill in the Great South Basin, despite issuing a ban on new oil and gas exploration permits in April. More>>

ALSO:

Collective Bargaining For Contractors: Working Group's Model For Screen Sector

A recommended model to allow collective bargaining for contractors in the screen sector has today been unveiled by the Government-convened Film Industry Working Group. More>>

ALSO:

Kauri Dieback: DOC Closing Tracks To Protect Trees

The Department of Conservation will close 21 tracks across kauri land to help prevent the spread of kauri dieback. An additional 10 tracks will also be partially closed and the open sections upgraded... More>>