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Corn approval protects NZ’s reputation

Corn approval protects NZ’s reputation

“The approval of High Lysine corn protects New Zealand’s reputation as a nation which bases food safety decisions on science rather than politics,” the Chairman of the Life Sciences Network Dr William Rolleston said today.

“Anti GM groups, notably the Sustainability Council and the Greens, have been lobbying hard to have High Lysine Corn rejected claiming it has not been proved to be safe.

“Evidence submitted by Dr Jack Heinemann, whose laboratory the Centre for Integrated Research in Biosafety (INBI) stands to gain from increased testing on GM, was carefully reviewed by scientists from both FSANZ and the Crown Research Institute, ESR.”

The FSANZ report upheld the recommendation to approve High Lysine Corn and noted the INBI’s critique contained inconsistencies and inaccuracies and concluded:

“Overall, INBI’s approach to the safety assessment is impractical and its requirements for data are not commensurate with the level of risk posed by the foods. The requirement for certainty at all levels of the assessment is scientifically unattainable.”

And

“[The points raised] are not even specific for GM foods but could apply equally to foods from non-GM sources.”

These tactics were also seen in the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification. The Commission reported:

“Some of the claims of possible environmental and health damage were exaggerated or based on inconclusive data or on unproven hypotheses.”

The Green Party in particular were forced to apologise to the Royal Commission when one of its star witnesses, Dr Elaine Ingham, was caught misleading it.

“New Zealand has fought long and hard to keep science at the forefront of food safety regulation in the face of trade protectionism. It is vital for our continued access to overseas markets. The decision to approve High Lysine Corn is a decision based on science and is consistent with our principles,” concluded Dr Rolleston

ENDS

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