Animal feed not human food has been the standard used as the basis for a recommendation by Food Standards Australia New Zealand to approve a GE corn as safe for human consumption.
The NZ Soil and Health Association says FSANZ used flawed food safety trials. The high lysine corn (LY038) approved for human consumption was compared not with regular corn, as should be the case, but with another variety of GE corn, on the basis that this was already approved, said soil association spokesperson Steffan Browning.
“The animal feed corn has been engineered to produce high concentrations of lysine, to promote animal growth,” said Mr Browning.
Monsanto had only carried out feeding tests on chickens and rats eating raw corn, but the corn would be cooked when included in processed food for human consumption.
Toxic when cooked
When cooked, the corn produces toxic compounds that have been associated with several human illnesses, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, he said.
A decision to either support or reject the FSANZ review recommendation is expected to be released on Monday by the Australasian Ministerial Council, including Food Safety Minister Annette King. The New Zealand Minister had requested the review following an earlier FSANZ recommendation.
“We do not need to follow poor Australian analysis and interpretation of research codes of practice as has happened on this occasion,” Mr Browning said.
Trans-Tasman standards not wanted
He said Soil & Health had noted anger in the community because there was “an incremental moving” of international food safety goalposts which was being promoted by the companies applying for the introduction of novel and risky foods.
New Zealanders were rejecting trans-Tasman decisions relating to food safety and health care as shown by opposition to previous FSANZ and Ministerial Council acceptance of GE foods, and also the Therapeutic Products and Medicines Bill, he said.
Decisions based on inadequate and biased food studies were not acceptable, and New Zealand needed to reclaim control over food safety testing and its food supply. New food safety trials needed to be developed to replace the flawed ones used for the latest application.
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