China Warning for New Zealand on GE food

China Warning for New Zealand on GE food

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Scientists at the International Conference on Ethnic Food Cultures and Food Safety, Kunming, China presented on a broad range of topics from ethnic and cultural values of food, to the evidence of harm caused by genetically engineered (GE) foods.

“China showed great leadership in opening up the debate on GE foods by inviting a group of leading scientists and doctors to present evidence about the cultural, environmental and serious health problems of GE food,” said GE-Free NZ president Claire Bleakley, who attended the conference.

The conference line-up of world class scientists included experts from New Zealand. Professor Jack Heinemann from Canterbury presented a 50-year comparison of agricultural methods in the US and Europe that shows the introduction of GE plants has impacted negatively on yields, diversity and pesticide use across America.

His study shows reductions in diversity, yield and sustainable farming practices since five commercial GE food crops (soy, corn, cotton, canola, sugar beets) became commercialised in the US.

“The performance indicators overseas and worldwide consumer demand for GE- free food show that there would be a negative impact on the economic viability of any farmers growing GE food here.”

Other scientists warned about resistance in weeds and insects which has become catastrophic for farmers.

High levels of pesticides are being sprayed on the plants in an effort to control invading pests and weeds that have become resistant. UK scientist Dr. Mae Wan Ho said dangerous levels of these pesticides are now being detected in the urine of animals and humans.

The results of the longest animal feeding study conducted on GE foods were also presented to the conference in China.

French scientist Professor Gilles Seralini presented shocking evidence of harm to the health of animals eating GE foods identified in a groundbreaking lifetime feeding studies on rats. The study found severe stomach inflammation, liver and kidney and endocrine disruption, reproductive failure and formation of tumors.

“The headline message from the conference in China is for New Zealand to ensure its food security and continue to prohibit the contaminating and ecologically damaging use of GE seed, ” said Claire Bleakley, president of GE Free NZ.

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