Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Dangerous GE food on our plates

'Hey Mr Monsanto, don't want you interfering with our food!'

The opening line of a song I wrote over 10 years ago is just as relevant today - if not more so. For a while Australia (my home) has benefited by being a little behind the times as well as by being separated by sea from other land masses. Alas we are not protected from the dubious motives of our politicians with the result that genetically engineered (GE) crops and GE foods are gaining approval and threatening our ecosystem, our health and that of our children.

When rats were fed the GE corn variety, MON863, they showed signs of kidney and liver toxicity. But the same corn was given a big tick by Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), declaring it safe for human consumption. Does this make any sense? A new study of the toxic effects of MON863 on rats concludes that the corn cannot be considered a "safe product". Yet FSANZ had access to the same test results back in 2004 and still gave it the thumbs up.

The good news is that there is no need to spend millions of dollars of taxpayers money trying to create genetically engineered drought resistant crops as Australian scientists have already produced them using conventional breeding techniques. A non-GE drought resistant canola variety developed in Victoria will be available to farmers this year. Despite the industry spin GE technology is being rapidly replaced by other technologies that don’t pose the same environmental and human health risks.

For more info and to take express your concern to our politicians visit the Greenpeace website and take cyberaction.

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