The Press: Europe balks at GE corn in NZ

Paul Gorman of The Press reports that a type of GE corn which was certified as safe for New Zealanders to eat, has been withdrawn from development for the European market following questions about its safety.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) says that the corn’s withdrawal from application in Europe was due to commercial reasons only, although concerns have now been raised regarding its certification as safe here.

An excerpt: (read in full here)

“Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) maintains there is no safety issue with the corn and that it was withdrawn from Europe purely for commercial reasons.

“Monsanto spokesman Jonathan Ramsay said “changes in the overall corn market” were among factors resulting “in a shift of the overall value to customers of this product at this time”.

“Leading Christchurch gene scientist Professor Jack Heinemann believes it was a tactical, rather than purely commercial, withdrawal and wants to know why FSANZ still considers it would be safe for Kiwis to eat.

“Heinemann, the director of INBI, said when the corn was cooked, the high level of lysine could combine with sugars to form chemicals strongly implicated in a number of diseases.”