|GE Free NZ Newsletter
ENGINEERED FOOD NOW AVAILABLE IN EVERY SUPERMARKET IN NEW ZEALAND: UNLABELLED,
UNTESTED AND UNSAFE !
COMPANIES ARE COMING TO NEW ZEALAND WHERE THE LAND IS CHEAP AND THE REGULATIONS
LAX. WE ARE THEIR SEED-BED FOR OFF SEASON FIELD TRIALS.
Let us reject
the bad science that has served to exploit, to oppress, to obfuscate, and
to destroy the earth and its inhabitants. Let us opt for a joyful and sustainable
future beyond genetic engineering: Dr.Maewan Ho.
6 & 7 APRIL 2000
House Quay WELLINGTON
candle light vigil outside on the 6-4-00
ERMA has not
turned down a single application to field trial genetically engineered
organisms to date. PROTESTS To be held outside the building for the duration
of the hearing to bring attention and public awareness to the issue of
ERMA not protecting the best interests of the NZ people it represents and
is funded by.
VENUE - 20
CustomHouse Quay, Wellington - 9 am at the ERMA NZ hearing room, Level
1 BP House,. If the capacity for this room is exceeded, the venue may be
moved to the BP Theatrette, also in BP House.
# GMF 99004 Agreseach is "To field test in containment in the Waikato Region,
genetically modified sheep with an inactivated myostatin gene, to increase
the understanding of myostatin function in order to identify the effects
on sheep muscularity." No medical or agricultural benefits have yet been
TO BAN ROUND UP
considering banning the herbicide Roundup because of a recent scientific
report showing that the chemical (technically called glyphosate) kills
beneficial insects. A ban would not only hurt Roundup sales, but would
also affect the biotech crops genetically engin-eered to withstand the
chemical. Independent research in Sweden has linked exposure to glyphosate
with non Hodgkin's lymphoma, a form of cancer.
geneticist and CBC host, Dr. David Suzuki, calls for a moratorium on genetically
altered foods. He said Canadians have become unwitting guinea pigs in an
experiment on our food supply. Dr. Suzuki stated that anyone who says these
foods have been proven safe is mistaken because it would take decades of
research to determine the safety of genetically engineered foods, which
have only been around for a few years.
Wolfson, PhD Biotech News
2 YEARS LATER: SUICIDE SEEDS ON THE FAST TRACK
right on with work on the Technology Protection System [Terminator]. We
never really slowed down. We're on target, moving ahead to commercialise
it. We never really backed off."
Delta & Pine Land Seed Co., January, 2000
"BULLISH" ON FUTURE OF GM CROPS
Fla., March 7 (Reuters)
will forge ahead with bringing its next wave of genetically modified crop
seed to market despite the uproar in Europe and Asia over transgenic crops.
Monsanto's vice-president for North American agriculture business said
"We see the technology as very beneficial for the long term." said Carl
Casale in an interview at a commodity conference there. "We are going to
work through the issues. We are very, very bullish."
changed. We are still eating unlabelled genetically engineered food. The
Royal Commission of Inquiry is still having the terms of reference written.
At present we are not going to get a moratorium on field trials for the
duration of the commission. This is of grave concern, as farm scale sized
'field trials' march across the UK, New Zealand seems set to follow.
|1 to 10
April Resistance is Fertile
Week Of Action Against GE
Nelson - April
Fools March 1.4.00
Meet 11 am
opposite Chez Eelco
COMMISSION - MORATORIUM OR NOT?
organics/GE special interest group, there was concern over the government
not allowing a moritorium on new field trials as part of the Royal Commission.
It was suggested that as many people as possible write/call/email Helen
Clark to urge her to act to stop all new trials in the open environment
which will risk irreversible contamination.
of food versus medical research is not the key concern (though important),
it is the matter of safe containment or unsafe external trials. There is
no way to prevent insects from biting transgenic animals, or eating transgenic
trees, however carefully kept behind a fence or terminated before releasing
interrelationships of life makes any outdoor trial an unacceptable risk
to our future (which the Royal Commission is supposed to guide). Please
urge people to call for a full moratorium on all new external field trials
irrespective of the medical or agricultural focus.
Write to the
Prime Minister :
Buildings, Wellington, New Zealand.
required in New Zealand]
04 - 471 9998
Fax : 04
- 473 3579.
FOR ROYAL COMMISSION INTO GE IN NZ
92, 000 people
signed a petition last year asking for a Moratorium on field trials of
transgenic crops, animals or other organisms, and on the approval of any
further transgenic foods for sale in New Zealand.
It was also
requested of the House of Representatives that the Royal Commission hold
public hearings in the main centres of NZ with cross examination of evidence.
was ignored when it was presented to parliament. Every single person who
signed this petition needs to express their concern to their local MP's
and to the Prime Minister.
IN THE UK
(London) March 18, 2000 Home news
backs yet more GM sites.
was set on a new collision course with anti-GM protesters last night after
giving approval for farmscale crop trials on 31 sites in England and Scotland.
BOYCOTTS IN NEW ZEALAND
There is a
renewed call by customers for MILO to be made GE-Free. This kiwi icon is
a family favourite and should be guaranteed not to have GE ingredients.
People need to call the consumer hotline and ask when this will be? In
the UK and Hong Kong the manufacturer has agreed to go GE-free but only
when it has "heard " from customers. The period of action is also expected
to see people turn the product upside down in stores across the country
to remind people to call and demand action.
0800 - 830 840 and ask that Nestle NZ goes GE Free here as well.
GE FOODS OVERSEAS
The US and
Canada, came under fire at a global summit on GE foods yesterday; over
the thorny issue of whether consumers should be told they're consuming
said, "Mandatory labelling could lead consumers to believe there are dangers
(associated with GM foods).''
further cited as saying mandatory labels might force U.S. and Canadian
retailers to purge GM foods from stores, where as much as 60 % of products
contain genetically modified ingredients, mostly soybeans, corn and canola
She said the
growing niche market in organic foods would always leave consumers with
a range of choice!
head of the Norwegian Food Control Authority, was quoted as saying, ``If
your customers don't know about it, you've effectively taken away their
right to choose. Labelling must be mandatory.''
Sahai, a scientist from India said, ``It's presumptuous and arrogant that
someone else should decide on behalf of consumers.'' Sahai was also quoted,
``I would like to know what Canada stands for. On one hand, you're supposed
to lead an effort to establish labelling, on the other hand, you're working
with the United States to sabotage it.''
Toronto Star European Bureau
MODIFIED CANOLA FOUND IN AUSTRALIA DUMP SYDNEY, March 25 (Reuters)
engineered canola plants not yet approved for public release in Australia,
have been found in a garbage dump; the Age newspaper reported on Saturday.
The Melbourne paper said the experimental plants, contain multiple genetic
modifications - including one for antibiotic resistance.
Commission is currently investigating biotech ingredients in cosmetics.
Soya and corn, which can be genetically engineered, are used in a huge
number of beauty products, including moisturisers, powder compacts, eye
shadow, anti-aging creams and lipsticks. Antibiotic resistance genes, which
are routinely included in many genetically engineered crops, are a major
concern because of the fear they may be taken up by disease organisms and
add to the growing number of antibiotic resistant diseases.
Ho, a molecular geneticist at the Open University in UK, explains that
genetic engineering bypasses conventional breeding by using artificially
constructed parasitic genetic elements as vehicles called "vectors" to
smuggle genes into cells. Unlike natural parasitic genetic elements that
can only infect a limited range of hosts, the vectors used in genetic engineering
are designed to overcome species barriers, and can therefore infect a wide
range of species.
The full text
of Dr. Ho's concerns can be read at:
Memo : this link is to be updated or removed
review by www.twnside.org -
GE FREE NZ
GE Free Zones.
your council to go GE Free.
available $10 each from:
Action Pack, PO Box 300-232 Albany Auckland, New Zealand.
make cheques payable to: GE Free NZ.
& 5 LITTLE PIGS
announces that 5 little pigs have been successfully cloned and the supply
of organs for xenotransplants is as good as in the bag. In this country,
where land is cheap and regulations lax, (Sunday Times 9.1.2000) up to
10,000 sheep with human genes have already been approved to be bred 'in
containment' at Ruakura Research Station. Whilst the cows with human genes
are still awaiting approval, could the GE pigs soon be on their way to
are warning that the transplanting of genetically altered animal organs
into humans could result in animal viruses crossing species boundaries,
creating deadly new viral epidemics for which there are no cure. With biotech
companies anxious to supply genetically modified animal organs to tens
of thousands of patients in need of transplants in the coming years, virologists
are warning of the unleashing of viral pandemics of 'nightmare' proportions."
Rifkin. The Biotech Century.
Is it ethical
to approve something 'for the public good ' when any repercussions are
unknown and unidentifiable?
ago Robin Weiss, a professor at the Inst of Cancer Research in London,
showed that a pig retrovirus is capable of infecting human cells in the
laboratory. It is then able to infect a wide range of other cells."
Mae Wan Ho. GE Dream or Nightmare?
"When a pig
is simply treated as a bio reactor - to produce a certain kind of chemical
or material for the pharmaceutical industry, it can be re-engineered and
redesigned without any ethical constraint"
A RICE - IS IT GOOD FOR YOU?
engineering of Vitamin A rice deepens the genetic reductionism of the Green
Revolution. Instead of millions of farmers breeding and growing thousands
of crop varieties to adapt to diverse ecosystems and diverse food systems;
the Green Revolution reduced agriculture to a few varieties of a few crops.
From approx 100 to about 6, (mainly rice, wheat and maize) bred in one
centralised research centre (IRRI for rice and CIMMYT for wheat and maize).
Revolution led to massive genetic erosion in farmers fields and knowledge,
erosion among farming communities, besides leading to large scale environ-mental
pollution due to use of toxic agrichemicals and wasteful use of water.
Genetically engineered rice as part of the second Green Revolution is repeating
the same mistakes, while adding new hazards in terms of ecological and
health risks. Including possible Vitamin A poisoning.
GROWTH HORMONE, MILK & MONSANTO
US Fox reporters
Steve Wilson and Jane Akre's recently toured NZ with their story about
rBGH, and the lengths Monsanto would go to stop them telling their story.
information visit their website www.foxBGHsuit.com
Ironically a similar
story was pulled here 2 years ago, on TV 1. What is it that we are not
"If the people
of New Zealand realised that this kind of thing is happening here, they
might take a little more interest in the whole genetic engineering issue."-
to stop the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (r-BGH) entering
into the EU and Canada has been successful. The FDA failed to investigate
studies showing that the oral feeding of rBGH led to thyroid cysts and
prostate activity in male rats. The Health Canada study found that these
results necessitated further study of the human health impacts of rBGH.
The study also found that significant animal health problems were associated
with rBGH use in dairy cows, including a 50% risk increase of lameness
and a 25% risk increase of mastitis (udder infections).
FDA approved rBGH for use in the U.S. in late 1993 without finding that
it was safe for use and ignoring studies that indicated these human and
animal health risks. In contrast, both Canada and the European Union have
found the potential human and animal health problems associated with rBGH
is great enough to prohibit rBGH use.
Resistance: Because rBGH use results in elevated mastitis levels, dairy
farmers tend to use more antibiotics -- residues of these drugs may end
up in milk and dairy products. These residues may cause adverse (i.e. allergic)
reactions in a few sensitive individuals and contribute to the growth of
antibiotic resistance in bacteria, now an important human health issue.
rBGH USE HERE IN NEW ZEALAND
of the NZ Dairy Board Wellington tells me that the Dairy Board has not
changed its stance on BST. They say that they will not use it and have
banned the use of it due to consumer concerns.
also said that it was not economic to use it, as the price out weighed
the financial returns of using it. This was a concern to me, that neither
animal welfare or human health risks were being mentioned. The door is
still open, for this or a similar product to be introduced into New Zealand,
at a later date.
The NZ Vet
Association on the other hand stated that there was a complete EU ban on
importation of any products which were produced using these hormones.
that it would was extremely unlikely to get registration here in New Zealand.
ENGINEERED FIELD TRIAL CROP DESTROYED IN AUSSIE 8 March 2000
from the Free Seed Liberation Front (FSLF) up-ended and trampled more than
200 genetically engineered pineapples in a field trial near Brisbane (Queensland)
should be directing research dollars into moving our society towards sustainable
organic food production, rather than developing crops such as these pineapples,
which are being developed purely to benefit the food processing and biotechnology
industries." a spokesperson for the FSLF said.
the Federal Governments' pathetic backpedalling on labelling of genetically
engineered foods yesterday, it's obvious they can not be trusted to act
in the best interests of the people. It's time for us to take action. This
is just the beginning of the people's movement against genetic engineering
of our foods.
that genetic engineering of food crops will exacerbate the environmental
problems caused by industrial agriculture and increase corporate control
of the food supply through patenting genetic codes."
ACTION IS NOT ONLY JUSTIFIED... IT'S ALSO VERY EFFECTIVE"
THERE TOAD GENES IN MY SPUDS?
trial application to grow GE potatoes near Lincoln '98 stated that the
object was to control the serious problem of bacterial soft rot in potatoes.
Prior to the ERMA hearing; on contacting the main commercial potato growers
in the Auckland region and other areas we were told that bacterial soft
rot is not a problem in potato growing because: Resistant varieties of
potatoes are already grown, and bacterial soft rot is a management problem.
Solved by ensuring healthy soil, growing conditions, and correct storage
of the crop.
introduces questions of the real motivation and purpose of the decade long
field trialling of GE potatoes in NZ by Dr Tony Conners? (Has there been
a crop this year, as they had approval for a five year trial?)
HIGH LEVEL OF MODIFIED FOOD ON SALE
for speedier labelling of genetically modified food was made by the Consumer
Council yesterday. When the council released a survey that found one in
five super-market products studied, contained GM ingredients. In a survey
of 105 food products, the most commonly modified crops were soya beans,
corn and tomatoes, 21 products were found to have GM contents. The nine
products with the most genetically altered ingredients had from three to
50 per cent, including three baby formulas. Abbott Laboratory's Isomil
Soy Protein Infant Formula had the top reading, 50 %, followed by Campbell's
Golden Corn soup and Nissin Demae Ramen Instant Noodle, at 30 % each.
Lo - South China Morning Post Ltd
PROTESTS SAY 'NO!' TO GE FOODS World Consumer Rights Day - March 15
protests in most capital cities and many regional centres today over the
presence of unlabelled, untested genetically engineered foods on supermarket
shelves. An information leaflet was launched to mark World Consumer Rights
Day and to counter government funded disinformation in supermarkets.
information and the right to know what has been done to our food must be
guaranteed by labelling," said GeneEthics Director Bob Phelps.
"But our Prime
Minister has delayed the labelling of processed foods containing imported
GE soy, corn, canola, potato and sugarbeet, as well as local cottonseed
oil," said Bob.
decided last year to label all foods produced using gene technology, but
that may now be reversed and July 2001 is the earliest we may see labels,"
done the dirty on Australian food buyers, siding with US companies that
claim to benefit US farmers but impose health and environmental hazards
on us," he said.
Consumer Rights Day we demand our right to know what we are eating," he
support for the organic industry instead of GE, Australia could meet the
huge demand for clean, green organic foods," he concluded.
How does this
impact upon us? By giving our decisions on labelling to ANZFA, has NZ lost
its right to choose.
Clean and Green
sounds familiar - will NZ Miss the Boat?
ZONE FOR CHRISTCHURCH
the Environment Committee of the Christchurch City Council is holding a
seminar on the GE issue. They aim to become more informed about GE. They
can then consider what declaring a GE-Free Zone would mean for Christchurch.
Afterwards, the Committee will decide whether to recommend that Groundswell's
GE-Free Zone proposal proceed to full council. Dr Morgan Williams, the
Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Janice Wright from IBAC
and Sue Kedgley from the Safe Food Campaign will address the seminar. In
Nov 99 many committee members expressed concern about GE, and a desire
to know more about the issue, reacting positively to the vision of a GE-Free
Christchurch as outlined in the proposal.
03 389 2938 Paul de Spa
News March 24, 2000
scale museum wall, call for end to genetically modified ingredients.
demonstrators were arrested Thursday for scaling the walls of a Kellogg
Co. museum and unfurling banners…
RESISTANT "FRANKENWEEDS" EMERGE IN CANADIAN CANOLA FIELDS February 10,
says that volunteer canola resistant to three herbicide-tolerant canola
systems has been found in a field in northern Alberta. Phil Thomas said,
"We knew it was going to happen. It was only a matter of when." A series
of chemical and DNA tests confirm the weeds in Tony Huether's field near
Sexsmith are resistant to Roundup, Liberty and Pursuit chemicals.
Keith Downey, who created modern canola, says the triple-resistant canola
isn't a great problem, adding, "We haven't created a superweed or anything
like that." He said that adding 2,4-D or a similar herbicide to a chemical
mix will kill any wayward weeds, noting, "I don't think it means anything
to consumers." [Web note: 2,4-D is a toxic herbicide]
vice-president of the Consumer Assoc. adding, "The backlash now is so little
based on fact, I know it won't make it any worse. The general public hasn't
a clue of what's going on. They're frightened with so little science behind
their fears. They need to get a handle on this or we'll lose the whole
"I feel that
the results should be made public." Huether points his finger at the close
relationship between chemical companies and government scientists, stating,
"It's hush hush because research is funded to a large extent by big business.
I'm losing more and more confidence in the whole system of research and
how things are approved."
von Oesen or Stacia Tipton
TO VISIT :
Engineering, Food and Our Environment
$24.95 Isbn No: 0-908011-43-1
Ph 09-836-2999 Fax 09-836-2399
ENGINEERING Dream or Nightmare?
Brave New World of Bad Science and Big Business
by Dr Mae-Wan
GARDENING IS GAINING GROUND
are on the decline as more of America's backyard botanists choose natural
products. From mulching mowers to eco-safe bug traps, you can find ways
to make your garden fully green.
editors of E Magazine).
AND ORGANIC CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION
March 21-An unprecedented coalition of more than 50 consumer, environmental,
scientific, farm and health groups filed a legal petition with the Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) today demanding the establishment of stringent
pre-market safety testing regulations for genetically engineered foods
(GE foods). Under the current FDA "non-labelling" policy, those suffering
from food allergies have no way of knowing they are consuming GE foods
or how to avoid this potential new source of food allergy. Health profession-als
are also concerned that the mass consumption of GE foods, most of which
contain genetic material resistant to antibiotics, could eventually make
treating infections more difficult.
"The FDA has
ignored the law and placed the interest of a handful of biotechnology companies
ahead of their responsibility to protect public health," stated Andrew
Kimbrell. "By failing to require pre-market testing and labelling of genetically
engineered foods, the agency has made consumers unknowing guinea pigs for
potentially harmful, unregulated food substances."
CITY COUNCIL GE FREE DECLARATION
Of Councillor Maura Hennigan
resolution was passed unanimously by the Boston City Council on March 2,
class action lawsuit has been brought against the Food and Drug Administration
by some of the nation's most prominent anti-trust lawyers for rushing these
novel, unpredictable and untested food technology products to the market;
and therefore be it
That the Boston City Council, in meeting assembled, urges the Federal Government
to require labelling of genetically manipulated foods and further urges
a moratorium on the production of any more of these foods until acceptable
testing systems are in place; and Be It Further Resolved: That March 26,
2000 be declared YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT DAY in the City of Boston.
of non-hybrid (open pollinated) food is of paramount importance, for those
interesed in seed saving all are welcome to enquire as to joining Seed
Savers Aotearoa New Zealand.
|As a species,
we wish to continue to grow the food we chose year after year. There are
only about 30 commercial varieties of vegetable that are available in the
supermarkets. Not only is saving seed highly rewarding , it is easy, fun,
enhances community cooperation and enables us to grow a much wider range
of food. So if you are keen gardener or just starting out then contact
a seed exchange or organic seed company near you.
Now I'm grown
up, what do I say,
about a parents day.
Who are they?
Of my genes
I have no say.
she was never born.
came in a donor form.
I have as
such no family history,
I'm just a mystery.
Took an egg
from a scrap of tissue,
law on the human issue.
To this they
added odd spare sperm.
womb till I came to term.
later I arrived.
made sure I survived.
I hear you cry.
No one seems
to question "Why?"
me why I'm sad.
Who do I call
my mum or dad?
I find life
bare and solitary.
of a laboratory.
|SUBSCRIPTION FOR NEWSLETTER
further GE Free NZ Newsletters, submission info, and event updates, please
request a membership form at GE Free NZ - P O Box 693 Nelson, New Zealand.
newsletters and GE Free Food lists are available by donation. Please make
cheques payable to GE Free NZ.
please send us your email address, so we can send the next newsletter via
|HEALTHY OPTIONS MAGAZINE
includes a sample of and promotion for the GE Free food list, and supporting
Benner & Ron Law about the dangers of GE foods.
and edited by Trudy L Burgess
by Susie Lees
G E Free
P O Box
548 6606, Fax 03 546 5036
We are not liable for any error, omission of fact, or misinterpretation
of the information given in this publication, nor action taken upon the