Previously known as Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics PSRGNZ - Charitable Trust
Affiliated to the international organisation PSRAST - Physicians and Scientists for the Responsible Application of Science and Technology
As required under the new 2005 Charities Act, PSGR has reregistered as a charitable trust.

2016 Submission on Rec 34: Review required labelling of irradiated foods 28 March 2016

28 March 2016

Food Standards Australia New Zealand   Food Standards Australia New Zealand

Submission on Rec 34:  Review required labelling of irradiated foods

FSANZ will acknowledge that FSANZ and the Food Forum have already approved 24 fruits and vegetables for radiation energy exposure of at least 1.5 million chest x-rays:  apple, apricot, bread fruit, capsicum, carambola, cherry, custard apple, honeydew, litchi, longan, mango, mangosteen, nectarine, papaya (paw paw), peach, persimmon, plum, rambutan, rockmelon, scallopini, strawberry, table grape, tomato, zucchini (courgette).  It is understood that blueberries and raspberries are also being considered for irradiation. 

These foods cover a substantial range of the fresh foods consumed in the daily diet.  What child does not take an apple to school in his/her lunch box or eat sandwiches spread with jam made from plums, apricots, berries or other fruits?  How often do tomatoes or capsicums go into a salad, or any of the above fruits go into a fruit salad or other fruit dish?

Removing mandatory labelling of irradiated foods denies consumers the right of choice as to whether they ingest those foods or fresh non-irradiated foods, and whether or not to feed them to the most vulnerable in society, infants and children.

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2016 Application A1118 FSANZ 22 March 2016

22 March 2016

Food Standards Australia New Zealand     Food Standards Australia New Zealand

Application A1118 – food derived from corn line MON87419 made by Monsanto Australia Pty Ltd, genetically engineered to be tolerant to the herbicides dicamba and glufosinate ammonium. 

The Trustees and Members of PSGR urge Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to meet their duty of care and reject this application. 

Many scientific and medical fraternities worldwide are deeply concerned about feeding human and animal populations foods containing novel DNA sequences not found in nature.  On an evolutionary time scale, the introduction of transgenic material into the food chain has not allowed for genetic changes to evolve for the human or animal systems to cope with these previously unknown transgenes. 

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2015 - Application A1112 FSANZ 3 October 2015

3 October 2015

 

Food Standards Australia New Zealand 

CANBERRA BC ACT 2610 and WELLINGTON 6143

 

Submission Application A1112 - Food derived from Herbicide-tolerant Corn Line MZHG0JG, Syngenta Australia Pty Ltd, genetically engineered for tolerance to the herbicides glyphosate and glufosinate ammonium. 

 

We are increasingly unconvinced by the biotechnology and food industries’ multi-million dollar public relations campaigns designed to deny the facts around transgenic products in a similar fashion to campaigns funded by the tobacco industry.

We question:

• The failure of agencies like the United States’ Department of Agriculture (USDA), its Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to place a higher priority on public health than they place on corporate profit and influence; and

• New Zealand’s regulatory authorities in accepting the inadequate standards of the USDA, FDA and EPA without independent research studies into transgenic organisms.

Using the human population as guinea pigs is unconscionable. 

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2015 FSANZ Application A1114 Submission 28 October 2015

28 October  2015          

Food Standards Australia New Zealand   and   Food Standards Australia New Zealand

A1114 – Food derived from Monsanto’s High Yield Corn Line MON87403: to seek approval for food derived from a genetically modified corn line MON87403 modified for increased yield for commercial planting purposes and livestock feed and food use. 

MON87403 has been genetically engineered for increased ear biomass at an early reproductive phase compared to conventional corn.  This alternation is achieved through expression of a truncated ATHB17 (Arabidopsis thaliana homeobox-leucine zipper protein 17) transcription factor encoded by the ATHB17 gene from Arabidopsis thaliana.  When expressed in MON 87403 corn, the ATHB17 transcript is alternatively spliced to produce a variant of the ATHB17 protein lacking the N-terminal 113 amino acids.  This variant is designated ATHB17Δ113.  Monsanto proposes that ATHB17Δ113 alters the activity of endogenous homeodomain-leucine zipper (HD-Zip) transcription factors that regulate ear growth.

These changes were developed through the use of recombinant DNA technology.[1]  It is known that small RNA sequences can alter gene expression, most commonly by silencing genes.[2]  While RNA is stable, it survives digestion and can affect gene expression in mammals that ingest it.  This change in gene expression can be passed on to future generations.  Genetic engineering technologies can introduce new DNA combinations and mutations, which increase the likelihood that harmful regulatory RNA will be accidentally produced.

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2015 Application A1097 FSANZ 5 February 2015

5 February 2015

Food Standards Australia New Zealand               Food Standards Australia New Zealand

Application A1097 - food derived from transgenic Zea mays event MON 87411 engineered against corn rootworm (Diabrotica spp.) and for resistance to the herbicide glyphosate; Monsanto Australia Ltd.

The Trustees and Members of PSGR urge Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) to reject this application based on the facts presented here.

The World Health Organization recommends adequate post market monitoring be carried out to ensure the safety of transgenic foods.[1]  No such monitoring is carried out anywhere in the world.  Thus it cannot be said that transgenic foods are or are not safe for human and/or animal consumption.  Applying the Precautionary Principle and rejecting and rescinding approvals of such applications is well overdue. 

International institutions are often cited as claiming transgenic organisms are safe for human and animal consumption yet a US-based group has compiled a list of over 120 expert organisations that have variously stated transgenic organisms have not been proven safe.[2] [3]

There is no scientific basis to claim any food plant altered at such a basic structural level is “equivalent” to a conventional counter-part food plant.[4]  Introducing genetically engineered / modified / transgenic food crops into the food chain – whether for human or animal consumers – raises significant concerns.  We query:

·         Questionable and/or inadequate safety testing;

·         The quantity of transgenic DNA fragments ingested by the average person in an average day; and especially

·         The cumulative effect of ingesting growing quantities of multiple and substantially different transgenes on a daily basis, potentially for a lifetime. 

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