Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Food Standards Authority in Disarray


Smartstax GE Corn Leaves Food Standards Authority in Disarray

The Food Standards Authority Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is in disarray, issuing conflicting reports that are vague and elusive, over the entry into the food chain of a new Monsanto/Dow Chemical pesticide filled GE corn variety, “Genuity Smartstax”. The new variety of corn is "stacked" with a combination of six different insecticidal and two herbicide tolerant genes that have never been assessed. [1]

In Australia, FSANZ has given MADGE [2] an understanding that Smartstax has been approved even though the levels of the pesticides being produced in the corn are unknown, safety parameters for human ingestion have never been set, and despite the scientific evidence that the combination of different gene insertions could produce further chemical or protein allergens.

"Replies to Freedom of Information Act requests by GE Free NZ to FSANZ reveal the Authority is unclear whether Smartstax has been regulated to enter the food chain, claiming they have no information," [3] says Claire Bleakley from GE Free NZ in food and environment.

“But in further correspondence they claim it does not require assessment because approval had previously been given for the individual genetic modifications. Such an approach cannot be scientifically justified and presents a new level of threat to food safety.”

The International Codex Alimentarius rules [4] and the FSANZ standard 1.5.2 -1 (b) clearly states that any plant that has been genetically engineered or any plant that is derived or descended from a GE parent line even if conventionally bred has to be assessed for safety. [5]

“Smartstax has been engineered in the laboratory to contain the stacked genes with a toxic cocktail of traits that can have unique combined effects irrespective of reassurances that individual genes have been assessed for safety” said Mrs. Bleakley.

The Smartsatx corn is being grown on 4 million acres in the Corn Belt of America and the chemical cocktail of Bt insecticides kill caterpillars and release the Bt toxin to kill soil micro organisms below ground. The corn survives being sprayed with high levels of herbicides that are absorbed into the grain, and which cannot be washed off or boiled away.

American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) called for a moratorium; implementation of long term safety testing with epidemiological research and methods to determining the effects of GE foods on human health. They asked Physicians to educate their patients, the medical community, and the public to avoid GM foods when possible.
“…GM foods pose a serious health risk in the areas of toxicology, allergy and immune function, reproductive health, and metabolic, physiologic and genetic health and are without benefit.” [6]

“As FSANZ has not regulated the Smartstax corn it must not allow it any where near our food supply as it could severely harm consumer’s health. The corn produces high levels of toxic insecticides which have been linked to damage to internal organs, digestive complications, sterility, allergies and sudden deaths [7]," says Claire Bleakley. “There are still no diagnostic tools to detect if rising levels of allergies, digestive irritability and skin diseases could be attributable to the increasing levels of GE in our diet.”

“The Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is mandated to evaluate any genetically engineered food and assess its safety. Its mission statement is to protect the health of the public, and they must immediately uphold public safety and stop the corn product from entering our food supply”.

References -
[1] Genuity Smartstax - http://www.genuity.com/Traits/Corn/Genuity-SmartStax.aspx
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3biM4OlC_QE&feature=related
[2] MADGE press release http://www.madge.org.au/Docs/MR-100715-Smartstax.pdf

[3] Responses to GE Free NZ requests from the FSANZ Acting General Counsel state:
“…FSANZ has previously approved all of the parental plant lines that have been used to conventionally breed Smartstax variety, under FSANZ’s rules conventionally bred progeny of approved GE lines do not require specific approval”.

[4] GUIDELINE FOR THE CONDUCT OF FOOD SAFETY ASSESSMENT OF FOODS DERIVED FROM RECOMBINANT-DNA PLANT; CAC/GL 45-2003;
Paragraph 14. [..]. Unintended effects in recombinant-DNA plants may also arise through the insertion of DNA sequences and/or they may arise through subsequent conventional breeding of the recombinant-DNA plant. Safety assessment should include data and information to reduce the possibility that a food derived from a recombinant-DNA plant would have an unexpected, adverse effect on human health.

[5] FSANZ standard 1.5.2 under the definition 1(b), 1(b)(ii) 1(b)(i) http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/_srcfiles/Standard_1_5_2_GM_v116.pdf

[6] Position paper on Genetically Modified Foods. American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM), 2009, http://www.aaemonline.org/gmopost.html

[7] de Vendômois JS, Roullier F, Cellier D, Séralini GE. A Comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health. Int J Biol Sci 2009; 5:706-726. http://www.biolsci.org/v05p0706.htm
www.gefree.org.nz

ENDS:
1

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Politics Of Using The Word “Fascist”

“Fascist” is one of those labels with the ability to capsize any debate. Call your opponents “fascists” – or “agitators” or “terrorists” or “scum” and you’ve taken the option of mutual respect and compromise off the table. Interesting then to see the ( paywalled) Washington Post seriously debating with itself yesterday over whether… Hmm, is it now finally time to bring out the f-word in connection with the presidency of Donald J. Trump, and with his enablers in the Republican Party..? More>>

 


RNZ: Covid-19 rules and restrictions on businesses to be lifted under alert level 1


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says there will still be strict controls on the border, but all current rules and restrictions on businesses and services will be "essentially lifted" under alert level 1.
She said the lower alert level would also put an end to restrictions for hospitality businesses, and gatherings - including funerals and tangihanga - of any size could take place..... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Twitter Wars, And The Muller Muddles

Whatever the failings of our own politicians, spare a kind thought for the majority of Americans who did not vote for Donald Trump. Sure, it was depressing this week to watch Todd Muller clinging for dear life to his talking points on Q&A, ... More>>

ALSO:

Green Party: Statement On The Death Of George Floyd

“Today and every day we stand in solidarity with George Floyd’s family, friends and community who feel pain and fear about his untimely death at the hands of Minneapolis police”, said Green Party Co-leader and Māori Development spokesperson Marama ... More>>

ALSO:


Government: Freshwater Package Backed By Comprehensive Economic Analysis

Decisions on the Action for Healthy Waterways package are supported by comprehensive environmental and economic impact analysis by leading New Zealand research institutes, universities, and private sector firms. More>>

ALSO:

National: "Todd Muller Announces Shape Of Next Government"

National Party Leader Todd Muller has announced the line-up of the next Government. “New Zealand is facing perhaps the toughest time that almost anyone alive can remember. “We are borrowing tens of billions of dollars to get us through this crisis. There ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On National’s Day Of Reckoning

Congratulations. You are one of the 55 members of the National caucus being called together tomorrow to choose who will lead you to either (a) catastrophic or (b) honourable defeat on September 19, thereby saving some (but not all) of the jobs currently on the line. Good luck. Your decision process starts NOW... More>>

ALSO:


Budget 2020: Jobs Budget To Get Economy Moving Again

Investments to both save and create jobs in Budget 2020 mean unemployment can be back to pre COVID-19 levels within two years and could see the economy growing again as early as next year. More>>

ALSO:

Government: Five New Super Hercules To Join Air Force Fleet

The Coalition Government has confirmed five Lockheed Martin C-130J-30 Super Hercules transport aircraft will be purchased to replace the existing fleet, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Government: Queen's Birthday Honours List 2020

The New Zealand Order of Merit The Queen has been pleased, on the occasion of the celebration of Her Majesty's Birthday, to make the following appointments to The New Zealand Order of Merit: DNZM To be Dames Companion of the said Order: Distinguished ... More>>

Government: Support For Arts And Music Sector Recovery

A jobseekers programme for the creative sector and four new funds have been set up by the Government to help our arts and music industry recover from the blow of COVID-19. Thousands of jobs will be supported through today’s $175 million package ... More>>

ALSO:

Government: New Zealand Joins Global Search For COVID-19 Vaccine

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods, and Health Minister David Clark today announced a COVID-19 vaccine strategy, which will enable New Zealand scientists to contribute to global research efforts ... More>>

ALSO:

The Dig: Steady State Economics: We’ve Got Some (systems) Thinking To Do

In this time of impending economic and ecological crises, we urgently need to aim for a sustainable or ‘steady state’ economy. In order to get there, we will need to adopt a ‘systems-thinking’ outlook taking into account the interconnections of our complex world.

In short, we’ve got some systems thinking to do... More>>

ALSO:

Election 2020: Parties Get Into gear

The Green Party is pleased to reveal its candidate list for the upcoming election. With a mix of familiar faces and fresh new talent, this exceptional group of candidates are ready to lead the Greens back into Government. Using the most democratic list ... More>>

ALSO:

Insight Into Regenerative Agriculture In New Zealand

There is a fast growing movement in New Zealand that has been happening out in paddocks, fields, gardens and hill country across the nation. It is a movement that holds the promise to reshape our productive land use industries towards systems that work with the natural environment to regenerate the land. The movement is that of regenerative agriculture. More>>

ALSO:

Covid-19: Tracer App Released To Support Contact Tracing

The Ministry of Health has today formally released the NZ COVID Tracer app to support contact tracing in New Zealand. Kiwis who download the app will create a digital diary of the places they visit by scanning QR codes displayed at the entrances to ... More>>

ALSO:


Govt: Deep Concern At Hong Kong National Security Legislation
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong.... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels