Long grain rice exported from the USA has become contaminated by experimental GE rice called LL601 that has never been properly safety-tested or approved. Around the world food authorities have banned imports of the contaminated rice but New Zealand authorities are refusing to test or recall US long grain rice. Check your cupboards: return any US long-grain rice to the shop where it was sold, and demand a refund.
Bayer is being sued in the US for contaminating rice with its illegal LL601 variant. European officials have also found shipments of Chinese imported rice contaminated with illegal GM rice. (www.GEinfo.org.nz/092006/01.html)
A Federal judge in the US has ruled that US agriculture officials violated environmental law by permitting GE crops engineered to make pharmaceuticals to be grown in Hawaii. Cases of “Pharm-crops” being mixed with food have already occurred in the US. ( www.GEinfo.org.nz/092006/03.html). Similar experiments are being pushed in France and even New Zealand (www.i-sis.org.uk/transgenicMaize.php)
Country of Origin: Pork is one of many products that are being imported to New Zealand but which people assume is locally made. Without rules requiring labeling of where food comes from people will be deceived. Write to Annette.King@parliament.govt.nz and ask her to sign up to the Australian government’s rules for country-of-origin labeling. Reject her claims labeling is a “barrier to free trade”, and make it clear that it is the public’s right to know.
GE is a risk to rate payers. Auckland City Council and the Auckland Regional Council have agreed to investigate working with other regions to protect local ratepayers from having to pay for clean-up and costs of damage from commercial GE releases allowed by ERMA (the Environmental Risk Management Authority). (www.wdc.govt.nz/portal/ge2005.html) ( www.sustainabilitynz.org )
Terminator Seeds. The New Zealand government is defending its support for Terminator seed technology at a recent international conference where most of the world supported a moratorium. Stopping Terminator is vital to protect poor farmers’ access to seeds. Companies want to design Terminator seeds to grow only once and then become infertile, breaking the natural lifecycle and forcing farmers to but new seeds each year.( www.banterminator.org)
New Zealand’s economy and environment can benefit by helping meet the global demand for clean, natural food. Suggestions from the head of Federated Farmers to sell food cheap and not to value our clean green image are mistaken. Australian farmers are already paid a premium of $65 per tonne for their canola because it is GE-free. (news.independent.co.uk/environment/article1168240.ece )
New Zealand’s Food Authorities appear to be failing to protect the public under pressure from commercial interests. An application has been made for high-lysine GE corn LY038 intended for biofuel to also be allowed in human food. This has alarmed scientists who warn the heated GE oil could create compounds linked to diabetes.