Genetically Engineered Foods > GE Corn in NZ
Corn or maize is the the most consumed grain alongside rice and wheat. It originated and was domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mesoamerica in prehistoric times, and over countless generations it has been selectively bred to give different varieties and is grown world wide.
Most of us love sweet corn fresh from the field, lightly boiled and smothered in butter or grilled. It's delicious and full of energy but increasing numbers of people are becoming allergic not just to sweet corn, but all products containing corn. It's such a widely used product used as a thickening and binding agent (cornflour) and sweetener (corn syrup) in millions of processed foods. It's also used as a filler in many medicines and enters our diet through many other means so if you suspect you could have a corn sensitivity, you need to become label-aware and try to remove all suspect foods from your diet.
While the accumulation of toxins in our bodies is seen as a major cause of food insensitivity and allergy, the rapidly growing threat is genetically modified corn and as food labelling laws differ from country to country, there is a steep learning curve to preserve or recover your health.
GM maize is one of the 25 GM crops grown commercially in 2011. Grown since 1997 in the United States and Canada, 86% of the US maize crop was genetically modified in 2010 and 32% of the worldwide maize crop was GM in 2011. As of 2011, Herbicide-tolerant maize varieties are grown in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, El Salvador, the EU, Honduras, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, the Russian Federation, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, Thailand, and USA, with insect-resistant corn being grown in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, the EU, Honduras, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Romania, Russian Federation, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, USA, and Uruguay.
“Scientific studies confirm that GM contamination is unavoidable once GM crops are grown in a region,” Earth Open Source wrote in a report. "Coexistence rapidly results in widespread contamination of non-GM crops… through cross-pollination, spread of GM seed by farm machinery, and inadvertent mixing during storage.”
Both China and the EU prohibit the import of genetically modified foods
Several large shipments of genetically-modified (GM) corn and corn seeds originating from the U.S. were destroyed by the Chinese government after being discovered by import officials at numerous locations across the country. At least three shipments of GM corn detected at the Wanzai Port in Zhuhai City near Macau were reportedly destroyed after being successfully intercepted by government officials, while another 21 cartons of GM corn seeds weighing more than 250 pounds were destroyed in the northern Chinese city of Harbin.
According to Chinese law, any import containing GMOs must be accompanied by the appropriate environmental and food safety tests conducted by Chinese institutions, not the biotechnology industry. This data is first submitted to the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture for review, and next passed on to the National Biosafety Committee for further review. If said data is eventually deemed adequate and meets strict guidelines, the corresponding shipment will be issued an appropriate safety certificate verifying its integrity and permitting its import.
Europe's food safety regulator rejected a form of GM corn that is legal to use in New Zealand foods. Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) approved the same product in 2010 and
in October 2003 FSANZ approved MON863 corn which is also approved for use in Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States. Toxicology trials done with rats showed that consumption of MON 863 corn disturbs numerous biological parameters in rats to a greater or lesser extent: weight of the kidneys, weight of the liver, the level of reticulocytes (new red blood cells), the level of triglycerides, etc. Urinary chemistry is also changed, with reductions in excreted sodium and phosphorus going as high as 35 percent. The effects vary with the sex of the animals.
New Zealand and Australia
New Zealand scientists and food safety experts strongly advised the government that genetically modified corn should be removed from sale in New Zealand following a study showing it may be causing cancer and other health problems. The Journal of Food and Toxicology has published a two-year study showing rats which ate a GM maize treated with the herbicide RoundUp were more likely to develop a range of cancers and the director of Canterbury University's Centre for Integrated Research in Biosafety, Jack Heinemann, said the regulators for the Food Safety Authority and Food Standards Australia New Zealand, were "deaf to sound science".
The product discussed above is LY038, a high lysine corn used as an animal feed. It is the first GE corn overtly designed to be substantially different in its nutritional profile; a profile designed for animals and not people. Since animals eat raw corn and humans eat cooked and processed corn, the animal feed may create human food hazards that would not have been detected by the safety assessment done only on raw corn. To avoid these risks, lysine could instead continue to be added to animal feed separately. LY038 may produce a unique spectrum of food hazards because it has extremely high concentrations of the free amino acid lysine and some potentially toxic derivatives.
In the video on the
previous page is a discussion on a recent study done with pigs being fed GM modified food.
All pigs in the study suffered gastrointestinal problems.
"Blatant scientific fraud by the applicants"
While INBI's detailed and devastating analysis of the applicant's supporting dossiers was dismissed out of hand by FSANZ, EFSA was forced to take it seriously because of concerns from a large number of European countries including Finland and Malta. The scientific bases of those concerns were highlighted by Jeffrey Smith in his book "Genetic Roulette" and by Prof Jack Heinemann in his book "Hope not Hype".
The Monsanto dossiers included rigged research and false assumptions in the reported experiments; a failure to offer any test results based on cooked or processed corn; a failure to test the whole GM plant in feeding trials; confusing and contradictory characterizations of the GM varieties and proteins; a fraudulent mixing of GM strains during trials; a pooling of crop data so as to mask undesirable effects in experiments; feeding trials too short to reveal true physiological changes in animal tissues; and the choice of an irrelevant, unrelated corn variety as the control group for comparison with the GM lines, with the clear intention of hiding potentially serious differences in composition or side effects on animals.
The Codex guidelines for the testing of GM crops were thus comprehensively broken by Monsanto's subsidiary Renessen, and were not enforced by the regulators in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. All in all, this amounted to blatant scientific fraud by the applicants, and a cynical failure to enforce the rules, and to protect the public, by the regulators, ~ GM Free.
When cooked, these substances form chemicals, called AGEs, that are strongly implicated in various diseases or their symptoms, including diabetes, Alzheimer’s and cancer. The manufacturing company claims that only very small proportions of the new corn will mix with human food. However, even small quantities of such substances pose food safety risks. Moreover, once approval is given, there is no legal upper limit on the proportion of this corn that can enter the human food supply.
Despite the billions poured into GMO research by Monsanto and it's allies, the GM corn grown in North America which was designed to be resistant to the corn rootworm but harmless to other creatures, the pest has begun to develop an immunity and farmers are once more returning chemicals to control it.
While the genetically modified crops were also meant to be resistant to application of the weed-killing herbicide Roundup, farmers are increasingly having to deal with Roundup-resistant "superweeds"
and the additional herbicide residues impact human health
The bugs and weeds adapt to genetically modified crops, and this negates the economic value of GM.
As our food is genetically contaminated and saturated with chemical residues so it's no wonder why so many become ill.
Take the time to find out where your food comes from; shop at local farmers markets, buy organic and GMO-free and avoid processed foods. As with most things food and health related, knowledge is power – so take the time to educate yourself, act with your dollar and think twice before you buy any corn products.
Organic consumers toxicology report
Farmers falling back on chemical pesticides as GMO seeds falter
As Biotech Seed Falters, Insecticide Use Surges In Corn Belt
New Zealand Herald
EFSA Rejects GM Form Of Corn Used In NZ Food
Is New Zealand’s food supply under threat? The Centre for Integrated Research in Biosafety
Press Notice from GM Free Cymru 9 November 2009
Genetically modified New Zealand Ministry of Environment.
Analysis Identifies Shocking Problems with Monsanto’s Genetically Engineered Corn
Nicky Hager's Seeds of Distrust, the story of a GE cover-up in NZ.
Genetic Roulette by Geoffrey Smith
Genetically Engineered Foods >
GE Corn in NZ