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Overseas markets ban pesticides commonly used in New Zealand

Overseas markets ban pesticides commonly used in New Zealand

The Food Matters Aotearoa conference will be looking closely at food production and the nutritional value of food, through to the regulations surrounding food safety.

Professor Don Huber an expert in microbiology and soil pathogens will discuss how the nutritional levels in our food are affected by different farming methods. Dr. Meriel Watts, PANANZ speaker at the conference observes, “Overseas markets are now banning pesticides that are still in widespread use in New Zealand. Our regulatory system is unresponsive to the changing international situation, caught up as it is in responding to what farmers tell them they want and to industry denials of harm.”

Professor Seralini of CRIIGEN Institute in France study on rats found that long term ingestion of genetically engineered RoundUp resistant corn caused an increase in kidney and liver damage and early tumour development. This has been supported in a recent study by Egyptian team of researchers who found that GE soy and maize fed to rats for 30, 60, and 90 days caused a wide range of toxic effects, including DNA damage, abnormal sperm, blood changes, and damage to liver, kidney, and testes.

Dr. Anna Goodwin, an oncologist will give us a first-hand account on the relationship between the decreasing nutritional quality of our food and ill health.

“The problems are associated not with a lack of production as the biotech companies imply, the United Nations recently stating there is now enough food to feed 14 billion people,” said Susie Lees from the Food Matters Aotearoa team. “The problems seem to be that the methods of production are denaturing our food, decreasing its nutritional value and resulting in increased chemical residues that are making people sick.”

Research is showing that agroecological approaches are able to outperform the industrial farming methods. International speaker Dr. Vandana Shiva will emphasise the need to preserve seed diversity and build the health of the soil. Dr. Mark Christensen will highlight his research into high-density minerals in heirloom fruits that have a direct impact on our health.

“We must move toward a safe and sustainable food production system that is fully backed by legislation” said Susie Lees.

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