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

     

    Scoop Business: NZ Dollar Falls To 3-Year Low As Investors Favour Greenback

    The New Zealand dollar fell to its lowest in more than three years as investors sold euro and bought US dollars, weakening other currencies against the greenback. More>>

    ALSO:

    Scoop Business: NZ Govt Operating Deficit Smaller Than Expected

    The New Zealand’s government’s operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first five months of the financial year as a clampdown on expenditure managed to offset a shortfall in the tax-take from last month’s forecast. More>>

    ALSO:

    0.8 Percent Annually:
    NZ Inflation Falls Below RBNZ's Target

    New Zealand's annual pace of inflation slowed to below the Reserve Bank's target band in the final three months of the year, giving governor Graeme Wheeler more room to keep the benchmark interest rate lower for longer.More>>

    ALSO:

    NASA, NOAA: Find 2014 Warmest Year In Modern Record

    Since 1880, Earth’s average surface temperature has warmed by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius), a trend that is largely driven by the increase in carbon dioxide and other human emissions into the planet’s atmosphere. The majority of that warming has occurred in the past three decades. More>>

    ALSO:

    Scoop Business: New Zealand’s Reserve Bank Named Central Bank Of The Year

    The Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s efforts to stifle house price inflation by using new policy tools has seen the institution named Central Bank of the year by Central Banking Publications, a publisher specialising in global central banking practice. More>>

    ALSO:

    Science Media Centre: Viral Science And Another 'Big Dry'?

    "Potentially, if there is no significant rainfall for the next month or so, we could be heading into one of the worst nation-wide droughts we’ve seen for some time," warns NIWA principal climate scientist Dr Andrew Tait. More>>

    ALSO:

    Get More From Scoop

     
     
    Standards New Zealand

    Standards New Zealand
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Sci-Tech
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news