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New Discovery of Illegal Bt10 in Corn Shipments.

2 June 2005

New Discovery of Illegal Bt10 in Corn Shipments.

Despite claims by Health Minister Annette King that illegal Bt10 corn is no longer being exported out of the US, in May a shipment of corn to Ireland has been intercepted and found to contain Bt 10 . This is some six months after Bt10 was supposedly removed from the food chain and contradicts the basis for Ms King's reassurance in Parliament than no Bt10 is entering New Zealand and no testing of shipments needs to be done.

In Feburary Syngenta advised the world -including FSANZ -that the food chain had been contaminated by an illegal strain of GE corn Bt 10, hushed up over the years 2001-2004. The world was assured that all corn had been removed from the chain. However this has proven to be false.

Bt10 Corn is not approved for human or animal use and is known to contain the ampicillin resistance gene. "Antibiotic resistance is becoming a major threat to treatment of disease in New Zealand" says Claire Bleakley from GE Free NZ in food and environment. "It is frightening to think that authorties are doing nothing to ensure the food we buy will not be further contributing to this problem."

There are also growing fears that Bt10 corn might have the same negative effects as GE MON 863 corn tested on rats. Some of the key points identified by Dr Pusztai are detailed below.

"It is imperative that FSANZ and NZFSA test for Bt 10 corn products in foods they know are likely to be genetically modified. This corn is still entering the food chain," says Claire. "It is unbelievable for the Minister of Health to ignore the situation and deny there is any importation when no tests are done. Overseas testing is confirming BT10 is still out there".

ENDS


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