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

 

GMO Potatoes Are A Threat To Public Health

GMO Potatoes Are A Threat To Public Health


Allowing GE potatoes into the food chain in New Zealand would be a mistake and threaten public health. For the first time a GMO version of a staple food—not just oils derived from GE crops, is set to be signed off by authorities.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is calling for submissions on five lines of genetically engineered (GE) potatoes. [1] FSANZ has historically approved all previous applications for GE foods, without independent safety testing.

The application for GE potatoes (A1139) admits the potatoes have significantly altered vital constituents (glutamine and asparagine) to allow easier processing. However, they have not been safety tested on any organism to see what adverse effects they might have when eaten, making any approval irresponsible and unwarranted.

FSANZ has provided only the industry references from Dow Chemical to support claims of safety. Even the industry studies reveal significant nutritional changes between the parent lines and the engineered potatoes. But the implication for consumers of these known differences, and of unidentified changes, are being ignored.

"The GE spuds should not be approved," said Jon Carapiet, spokesman for GE-free NZ. "It is irresponsible for FSANZ to dismiss significant differences that demand proper testing and claim instead that those differences are within the bounds of natural variation in other potatoes."

GE-Free NZ calls on all industries to refuse to use these potentially harmful potatoes in their products. The public is being treated as collateral damage.

If FSANZ approves the application, it will be up to McCain's, Watties, and other manufacturers of potato products to keep GE spuds out.

Fast food chains like McDonalds and KFC, and supermarkets like Countdown and Foodstuffs, must also prevent these untested spuds ending up in New Zealand larders and restaurants.

The drive to commercialise a GMO that is a vital staple food in kiwi diets, is seeing safety for the consumer cast aside. Despite previous approvals over the last 20 years there are no available diagnostic tests or human studies to establish what effects there are from GE foods. This is a serious failing in the system, when digestive complaints, allergies, and organ illnesses are at epidemic levels.

It is now known, however, that animals fed genetically engineered soy and corn have suffered liver and kidney malfunctions, blood and immune system failure, and tumour development. [2] There are serious concerns that basic changes in the potato amino acids could cause brain damage and problems for pregnant mothers and developing babies. [3]

“It will not be good enough just to warn women to avoid the essential staple potatoes if they are pregnant. These products should not be allowed," said Claire Bleakley, president of GE-Free NZ.

"It is reckless of FSANZ to let the application proceed this far, let alone rubber stamp it with an approval. This shows that they do not have the requisite expertise to carry out their statutory duties and may also indicate inappropriate bias."

FSANZ needs to stop the clock immediately on the applications and require lifetime feeding studies, and full 'omic' analysis of these potatoes before any consideration can be made.

This application should never have been released for comment until the safety of these foods has been determined, which neither FSANZ or industry has done.

The GE potatoes application is open for public submission until 7 July 2017.
References:

[1] Application A1139, Food derived from Potato Lines F10, J3, W8, X17 & Y9http://www.foodstandards.gov.au/code/applications/Documents/A1139%20GM%20potato%20F10%20J3%20W8%20X17%20Y9%20SD1%20Safety%20assess.pdf

[2] Séralini, G., Clair, E., Mesnage, R., Gress, S., Defarge, N., & Malatesta, M. et al. (2014). Republished study: long-term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerantgenetically modified maize. Environmental Sciences Europe, 26(1). http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12302-014-0014-5

[3] Ruzzo, E., Capo-Chichi, J., Ben-Zeev, B., Chitayat, D., Mao, H., & Pappas, A. et al. (2013). Deficiency of Asparagine Synthetase Causes Congenital Microcephaly and a Progressive Form of Encephalopathy. Neuron, 80(2), 429-441.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2013.08.013

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Not Buying What Todd Muller Is Selling

Chloe Swarbrick is number three in the Greens Party list released this morning. Todd Muller has released his new party line-up today, which will excite everyone who still wants to know what Gerry Brownlee and Judith Collins will be up to in future. Wider point being : Swarbrick is a household name after three years in Parliament, and has been steering our cannabis laws towards a national referendum at this year’s election. Todd Muller has spent twice as long in Parliament as Swarbrick and yet – until last week – no one beyond his immediate family and friends had ever heard of him... More>>


 

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:

Lockdown Rules: Timeline For Moving To Level 1 Needed

The BusinessNZ Network is calling for more clarity about the conditions under which businesses can move to Covid level 1. The network is concerned about large numbers of businesses that are at risk of closure if restrictions continue at the current ... More>>

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:

Covid-19 Response: Law Setting Up Legal Framework For Covid-19 Alert Level 2 Passes


The law establishing a legal framework for the response to Covid-19 has passed its final reading and will become law in time for the move to Alert Level 2 tonight.
This is a bespoke Act designed specifically to stop the spread of COVID-19... More>>

ALSO:

ACT: Parliament Quits MP Cut Pay Debate To Go Home Early

“In an outrageous move, Parliament has today passed voluntary MP pay cuts and avoided any debate over whether to make them compulsory and transparent”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.... More>>

ALSO:

Trans-Tasman Bubble: PMs Jacinda And Morrison Announce Plans

Australia and New Zealand are committed to introducing a trans-Tasman COVID-safe travel zone as soon as it is safe to do so, Prime Minister Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern and Prime Minister the Hon Scott Morrison MP have announced... 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:


Gordon Campbell: On The Dodgy Politics Of Easing Level 3

As countries around the world tentatively emerge from lockdown, a lot of political noise is being generated by politically-driven arguments that (a) the safeguards need to be lifted faster and (b) the lockdown itself was an over-reaction likely to leave lasting economic damage in its wake... More>>

ALSO:

Govt: Concern At Introduction Of National Security Legislation For Hong Kong
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong... More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 


 

InfoPages News Channels