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More GE food research on human health is required

Food safety authority agree more research into the effects of GE food on human health is required.

GE Free (NZ) is pleased to hear that the consumer forum of the NZ Food Safety Authority (FSA) has decided that there should be a priority for more information and study between eating GE products and food born illness.

In 2002 the FSA (UK) tested 27 people of which 7 were illeostomy patients. They were given GE soy milk and burgers to eat. The transgenes survived the stomach acids and the small gut of all 7 illeostomy patients. This trial confirms fears that transgenes could transfer to the microflora and epithelial cells of the intestine. The British Medical association (BMA) has expressed concerns that the possiblity of transgene recombination with the colon and gut microflora crossing into the blood stream of people has severe
health implications.

GE Free NZ believes that there should be more education into the link between GE and food born illness and the FSA should also inform restaurants and food outlets. Claire Bleakley of GE Free NZ said "The NZFSA has already recognised that food borne illness is on the rise with more virulent strains of e-coli and salmonella becoming increasingly difficult to treat. It is important that the use of antibiotic and viral gene constructs used in GE foods are properly studied."

The consumer meeting heard that there had been a dramatic rise over the last few years in reports of viral and bacterial stomach bugs needing hospital treatment, the timing correlates to the introduction of GE food products.

"We need to see if there is a link before any more GE food is released into the food chain", said Claire Bleakley of GE Free NZ.

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