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Claims of ''contamination'' scare mongering

29 August, 2003 NEWS RELEASE
from the
New Zealand Grocery Marketers’ Association

Claims of “contamination” no more than scare mongering

Claims by the organisation Mothers Against Genetic Engineering (MaDGE) that soy milk products have been “contaminated” represent no more than scare mongering of the most outrageous type, says the New Zealand Grocery Marketers’ Association.

“Following extensive testing these products have been cleared by New Zealand food safety authorities, as well as responsible authorities in other countries, as completely safe for human consumption,” said Brenda Cutress, Executive-Director of the GMA, today.

“The ingredients are in accord with this clearance and the products have not been subject to further introduction of GM ingredients or other substances. There has been no so-called contamination.

“In our view it is damaging to the credibility of MaDGE that it should urge consumers to boycott all soy milk products. Children who use soy milk alternatives to cows’ milk often do so because they have received medical advice, or have been prescribed the product because of intolerance to lactose.

“To suggest, as this group has, that the product is contaminated in a manner that makes it unsafe raises fears that are quite unjustified, ignores the reality that millions of children world-wide have consumed the product without ill-effects and debases the English language.

“Food safety labelling standards reflect widespread international acceptance that any product which may include an unintentional presence of less than one percent of GM does not require packaging identification. This is because the level of presence is so minute as to be virtually meaningless.

“In any event New Zealand grocery retailers also bring to market non-GM soy products.

“I believe that in seeking to manipulate the mothers of New Zealand for its own political ends MaDGE debases its own credibility as an advocate on GM matters.

“The facts are that the New Zealand Food Safety Authority recently completed an 18 month audit of food manufacturers and importers and found there is no GM food or ingredient in New Zealand that is not allowed to be there.” --ends

ENDS

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