Monday, 24 July 2017

Soil & Health Association is concerned about the growing number of genetically engineered (GE) foods approved for sale in New Zealand and the long-term and cumulative health effects of consuming them.

While New Zealand does not grow any GE crops or animals, there are many imported GE ingredients in food for sale here, according to the association.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), the organization that controls food approvals for New Zealand and Australia, is calling for submissions on an application to permit GE potatoes for human consumption. The potatoes have been genetically engineered to reduce bruising, to reduce acrylamide formed during cooking, and to protect the potatoes from a type of blight.

“Since 2000 FSANZ has approved every single application for GE food lines, and there are now a staggering 71 different GE food lines approved for sale in New Zealand,” says Soil & Health chair Marion Thomson.

“An estimated 70% or more of processed non-organic foods for sale in New Zealand contain genetically engineered ingredients, but consumers have no idea because our labelling laws mean that almost all GE ingredients don’t have to be listed on the packaging.”

While a FSANZ safety assessment on the GE potato application has not identified any public health and safety issues, previous FSANZ assessments have been shown to be incomplete, with an absence of biological studies on the impacts of the foods when eaten, the association considers. 

Related articles: 

GMO Potato Lines to Be Approved in Australia and New Zealand

Taiwan to Control Imports of GMO Potatoes 

Maine Board Approves Three New Types of GMO Potatoes 

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