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Continued Erosion Of Labelling Laws On GE Foods

Continued Erosion Of Labelling Laws On GE Foods And New Zealand Sovereignty.

Lack of labelling of GE foods is perpetuated year on year by governments worldwide resulting in a lack of choice for the consumer, the majority of whom would prefer to eat GM Free foods, over 5500 NZers asked for full labelling as far back as 1998. In a continued erosion of democracy, corporate interests continue to be put first.

World food production, fast being contaminated by patented GE foods, products of corporations who see the proliferation of their crops ensuring ownership of the food supply. Monsanto, now seeking an exclusive patent right on soy plants, their seeds and progeny, have claimed rights to a natural gene sequence discovered in wild plants originating from China. Their patent application was filed simultaneously in over a hundred countries. Ingredients such as soya and lecithin are now in virtually every manufactured food on supermarket shelves, huge subsidies being paid to US farmers for GE soy.

Internationally there are moves afoot within CODEX to avoid labelling GE foods by allowing negative/GE Free labelling, but preventing full labelling of GE foods. CODEX Alimentarius world standards on foods produced by biotechnology and worldwide labelling standards are due to be completed in 2004. The onus should be on the producers of GE foods, GE free foods having been the norm over the previous centuries.

FDA scientists have acknowledged special risks of GE foods, other risks identified by scientists include possible early onset of cancers, due to a lack of clinical testing concrete evidence is not available. Resulting health problems may well be untraceable.

Expectations for adequate and fully informative labelling promised back in 1998 now seem further away than ever. The New Zealand government should withdraw from the Food Standards Treaty, and regain responsibility to its people. A loss of sovereignty, democracy and any accountability on food issues is a result of National's policies, and it appears our present government will continue this abuse of consumer rights by its acceptance of ANZFA's decision to allow GE foods on our supermarket shelves for a further year.

For more info. Susie Lees 03 546 7966


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