Press Release – GE Free NZ

New Zealand’s international reputation for safe food is under threat as a result
of a secret deal signed last week with the US Food and Drug Administration. The deal
for mutual recognition of food safety regimes is being promoted by government as …New Zealand Food Safety Undermined by Secret Deal with
FDA

New Zealand’s international reputation for safe
food is under threat as a result of a secret
deal signed last week
with the US Food and Drug
Administration.

The deal for mutual recognition of food
safety regimes is being promoted by government as a ‘win’
for New Zealand, but appears to be part of a wider agenda to
harmonise legislation and allow the smooth signing of the
Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, aligned to the “one
U.S. Government” approach to importation and food
safety
.

This deal is a dangerous and unprecedented
move. It opens up New Zealand’s biosecurity to increased
risks, which is the price to pay for delivering what the
Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) calls a reduction in
“regulatory burden for foods traded between the
countries”.

Around the world New Zealand’s reputation
for safe food could be considered to be better than that of
the USA, which has a history of political influence and
compromise of scientific standards.

It is the FDA which
has recently approved GE fish to enter the food chain
untested and unlabelled, and which has turned a blind eye to
the entry of animal clone meat and milk products into the US
food chain. It is the FDA which years ago deliberately
ignored the advice of its own scientists by deeming GE foods
to be ‘substantially equivalent’ to normal food so avoiding
proper regulation.(3)

The issue of
regulation of genetically engineered (GE) foods is dominated
by the US in this deal and will now have little if any New
Zealand consumer input.

There is now a threat that New
Zealand’s labelling laws for GE will be ‘gone by Christmas’.
If the FDA deems a food safe, New Zealand has to accept the
ruling and will be forced to allow GE imports of novel GE
foods ‘gene-stacked’ to resist multiple herbicides including
2,4-D.

The deal also hides a serious conflict of interest.
The Deputy Commissioner of the FDA is Michael Taylor, was
also a lawyer for Monsanto. On his watch all Monsanto GE
foods have been deemed safe regardless of the lack of safety
data and concerns raised by independent scientists.

The
MPI is also highly conflicted, as it has to advance a trade
agenda whilst also considering public health and
safety.Unfortunately for consumers and for New Zealand’s
reputation, it will be food safety that is compromised to
serve trade interests.

“With the ever-rising problems
associated with GE foods and crops the situation is becoming
one of the ‘fox guarding the chicken house,'” says Jon
Carapiet, spokesman for GE-free NZ in food and
environment.

“New Zealand has in effect just given away
its sovereignty, and its control to import foods that can be
assured as safe in the long term.”

This deal is a nasty
surprise for people in New Zealand and for our markets
overseas. New Zealand would be better to distance itself
from decades of the FDA’s scientific compromises,
degradation of the integrity of the US food supply, and
domination by industry lobbyists.

The deal threatens to
increase trade in unregulated, unmonitored and undesirable
food products that are already part of the US food
landscape.

This deal will not make food safer, but will
limit New Zealand’s capacity to differentiate our products
on the world stage.

[3] Agency Contradicted
Own Experts in Approving Genetically Engineered Foods —
Misrepresented Facts in Order to Promote U.S. Biotech
Industry http://online.sfsu.edu/rone/GEessays/FDAdocuments.html
http://supermarketnews.com/latest-news/fda-approves-genetically-modified-fish
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22667305/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/t/fda-says-food-cloned-animals-safe/

ENDS

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
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