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GE-food link to New Killer respiratory disease


Authorities quizzed over GE-food link to New Killer respiratory disease.

The World Health Organisation has warned the world of an outbreak of an unknown killer disease known as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Its emergence has surprised few scientists aware of the risks from experiments with recombinant DNA, and the release of GE organisms into the global foodchain and environmental network.

"Health officials must investigate the question: is the disease connected to viral elements used in genetic experiments?", says Claire Bleakley from GE-Free NZ in food and environment. "The question must then be answered with scientific study , and if it is found to be the case the implications for the biotechnology industry are as devastating as the implications of the disease for human health."

The possible causal-link may have already been signalled by the fact that cloned and genetically engineered animals have a significant death rate due to respiratory distress. In the last few months Dolly the sheep died of progressive lung disease and each year at least three GE sheep at Whakamaru have died from severe respiratory distress. Strange rare and peculiar respiratory diseases have been arising in Asia over the last five years causing pigs and chickens to be slaughtered in the millions. Could this have something to do with recombinant vaccines and ingestion of GE meal? Ms. Bleakley asks why the regulatory authorities are not already adequately monitoring this type of relationship. "The possibility of a virulent new pathogen being created in animals and crossing the species barrier through horizontal gene transfer to become established in New Zealand, poses a threat to our biosecurity and health status".

GE Free NZ in food and environment believe there is urgent need to consider the common denominators of mixed flu vaccines using avian cultures and genetically engineered products.

In the last year Canadian Universities and research centres have released, in at least three incidences, genetically modified animals into the food chain. These incidents were impossible to recall and explained away as human error". Asia and Canada have both been targeted in the new flu outbreaks, and authorities have a duty to test if these incidents are linked by the use of GE in food and animals.

It is time for our health departments and food safety associations to be more stringent and start to take care of the New Zealand public. They should stop allowing GE foods onto the open market. The Food Safety Authority (FSA) should start to monitor the levels of GE products ingested and ANZFA should ban all GE foods in the food chain until comprehensive clinical trials on the foods have been run.

Contact: Claire Bleakley (06) 3089842 Jon Carapiet 09 815 3370

References.

PPL Annual report to ERMA for GMF98001 (2000,2001, 2002)

Singapore Daily Times. 2000. Malaysia slaughters hundreds of thousands of pigs

DomPost Scientists to probe Dolly's early death. 16/2/03

Alix Fano One mans meat The Ecologist, Dec00/Jan01

By Adrian Ewins Saskatoon newsroom, Hog slaughter in Malaysia, April 1, 1999 Gov't orders herd destruction to stop killer virus outbreak

Cat Lazaroff (2002) Transgenic Animals Could Pose Environmental Threat

Elizabeth Weise Research piglets sold as food hard to find http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2003-02-07-research-pigs_x.htm USA TODAY

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