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

 


Food code not grounded on best available science

Centre for Integrated Research in Biosafety

Proposed change to food code not grounded on best available science

The Centre for Research in Biosafety (INBI) is urging the food standards agency to reconsider its draft recommendation to approve a new type of GM corn.

INBI has recommended that Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) should not approve Monsanto’s genetically modified high-lysine LY038 corn until further safety studies have been conducted.

FSANZ is the agency responsible for protecting the safety and integrity of food sold in Australia and New Zealand.

Monsanto has applied to FSANZ for LY038 to be permitted in the food supply, but has declared that its intention is to market LY038 as animal feed. INBI believes LY038 is the first genetically modified crop plant substantially different in its nutritional profile to be considered for approval as a human food. INBI recommends that safety studies be conducted using GM corn that has been cooked and processed as it is in human food.

“The key difference between the use of corn as an animal feed and a human food is cooking and processing, and FSANZ has made no attempt to assess food hazards resulting from cooking or processing of LY038,” said INBI Director and University of Canterbury Associate Professor Jack Heinemann.

He said LY038 corn was substantially different to conventional corn in that it has high concentrations of compounds that are known to produce food hazards when heated with the sugars found in corn.

“We’ve carefully examined the risk assessment done by FSANZ and its supporting materials, and we can’t understand why FSANZ does not ask for the obvious scientific studies that would establish the safety of this product when it is cooked and processed, the way people—and not chickens—eat it,” Heinemann said.

While the FSANZ assessment assumes that LY038 would enter the food supply only in small amounts and inadvertently, the INBI submission identifies a number of realistic pathways, both deliberate and inadvertent, through which the amounts of LY038 in the food supply could be much more significant.

In its submission to FSANZ, INBI makes over 90 major recommendations, most of which identify deficiencies in the supporting scientific studies and in the analysis conducted by FSANZ. INBI also notes ways in which the FSANZ standards deviate from those recommended by international food safety bodies such as Codex Alimentarius and the World Health Organisation.

“FSANZ is obligated to use the best scientific evidence available and conduct a caseby- case assessment. From our point of view, it hasn’t consistently done either,” said Heinemann. INBI has called on FSANZ to explain how it weighs competing costs and benefits when coming to its decisions.

“FSANZ is charged with maintaining public confidence in the quality and safety of food,” said Billie Moore, an INBI researcher. “This is impossible without public confidence in FSANZ and its decision-making processes, which must therefore be transparent and open to public scrutiny and evaluation. It cannot expect the public to have confidence in unsubstantiated assertions and unexplained reasoning.” For the INBI submission, please go to:

  • http://www.inbi.canterbury.ac.nz/Documents/submissions/submissionDARA549.pdf
  • ENDS

    © Scoop Media

     
     
     
     
     
    Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

     

    Employment: ANZ Proposes Casualisation In Whangarei Stores

    ANZ workers in Whangarei could see their incomes drop by 20 to 40 percent if the bank’s proposal to reduce the number of full-time positions goes ahead says FIRST Union national organiser Tali Williams. More>>

    Finance: BNZ Develops Specialist Tāmaki Māori Banking Team

    BNZ develops specialist Tāmaki Māori Banking Team to support Māori as Auckland grows More>>

    Pharmaceuticals: Commerce Commission To Consider Pharmaceuticals Merger

    The Commerce Commission has received an application from Pfizer Inc. seeking clearance to acquire all of the shares in Hospira Inc. More>>

    Real Estate: Housing Unaffordability Issues Spread

    Surging house prices in Auckland and Queenstown last month pushed home ownership even further beyond the reach of first home buyers in the two districts, according to the AMP360 Home Loan Affordability Report for March. More>>

    Statistics NZ: Annual Exports To China Dip Below Australia

    The value of goods exports to Australia ($8.7 billion) surpassed those to China for the year ended March 2015, Statistics New Zealand said today. More>>

    Science: Hookworm Discovery At Malaghan Institute

    Professor Graham Le Gros has led a team which has stimulated both innate and memory responses to the parasite, discovering along the way the unexpected behaviour of one particular immune cell, in Hookworm, one of the world’s most devastating tropical ... More>>

    Business: Provinces Urged To Make Full Use Of New Air Services

    Provincial New Zealand has been urged to use new air services to Auckland or risk losing them either partially or completely. The stark warning was issued today by Far North mayor John Carter at a ceremony at Kaitaia airport to mark the final Air ... More>>

    Mobile: 2degrees To Credit All Calls And SMS To Nepal

    In the wake of the devastating earthquake in Nepal in the weekend, 2degrees will be crediting all calls and SMS messages made to mobiles and landlines in Nepal from Friday 24th April until midnight Wednesday 29th April. More>>

    Scoop Business: Alex Swney Pleads Guilty To $2.5M Fraud Charge

    Alex Swney, former chief executive of the Auckland city centre business association Heart of the City, has pleaded guilty to dishonestly using documents to obtain $2.5 million. More>>

    ALSO:

    Petrol Burns Prices: Second Consecutive Quarterly Fall For CPI

    The consumers price index (CPI) fell 0.3 percent in the March 2015 quarter, following a 0.2 percent fall in the December 2014 quarter, Statistics New Zealand said today. The last time the CPI showed two consecutive quarterly falls was in the December 1998 and March 1999 quarters. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Sci-Tech
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news