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Three Variants of Toxic Maize Could Be In NZ

Three Variants of Toxic Maize Could Be In NZ

All three of the GM maize variants recently discovered to be toxic in long-term tests have been approved for sale by authorities in New Zealand and Australia.

The three types of maize: MON810, MON863 and NK603, are all listed as "approved" in the official list of FSANZ Approved Gene Technology Foods.

The results of a 2-year study published ealier this month (1) confirm that the short-term data used to originally gain official approval of the products had obscured their toxicity.

The study published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences demonstrates the toxicity of the three genetically modified corn varieties from U.S. seed company Monsanto. "Each time, for all three GMOs, the kidneys and liver, which are the main organs that react to a chemical food poisoning, had problems," indicated Gilles-Eric Séralini, an expert member of the Commission for Biotechnology Reevaluation, created by the EU in 2008.

The discovery provides proof for the first time that not only should these 'legally approved' GM foods be withdrawn, but that FSANZ's approach to approving such foods is wrong and is putting the public at risk.

"If this new study proving liver and kidney damage doesn't prompt immediate action from FSANZ it will signal a serious breakdown in the regulatory system," says Jon Carapiet from GE Free NZ in food and environment.

"It is not known how much of each of these GM crops is being allowed into New Zealand, but there is clearly a need for FSANZ to ban these products and comprehensively rethink their approval system in the face of potential public health emergency. Nothing less is scientifically or ethically justified."

Until action is taken by government officials, consumers - especially pregnant woman, the very young and those with suppressed immune systems, should avoid food from manufacturers using GM maize. People should opt for companies committed to a policy of using GM-free, NZ- grown or certified organic ingredients.

Manufacturers who are using any of these ingredients must also take action to stop, or they will be knowingly putting their customers at risk. At least one product identified on its label as using GM ingredients is Stagg's Vegetable Chilli Beans imported from the US. Inghams have also revealed they use some GM grains in chicken feed, following an investigation by the Commerce Commission. It is understood Tegel may also do so. Other products that incorporate GM maize may be channelled through cafes and point of preparation where they can be sold legally without any labelling or warning.

1) Study Proves Three Monsanto Corn Varieties' Noxiousness to the Organism


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