Academic accused of GM 'scaremongering'
Wed, 12 Sep 2012 5:26a.m.
Calls to abandon a genetically modified wheat trial in Australia amid reports certain varieties could cause liver failure have been dismissed by the Western Australian state government as scaremongering.
Canterbury University genetics lecturer Jack Heinemann has warned that if humans eat one of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation's genetically modified wheat varieties, it could suppress glycogen production, leading to liver failure.
CSIRO says the claims have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal but would be considered by the organisation and regulatory bodies along with all other relevant research.
Trialling both GM and non-GM versions of high amylose wheat, which had increased levels of resistant starch, could have positive benefits for bowel health and people with diabetes, CSIRO says.
Resistant starch is a type of carbohydrate that is not digested in the small intestine and travels into the large intestine, where it plays a key role in digestive function.
Professor Heinemann and other experts from Britain and Australia were asked by lobby group the Safe Food Foundation to give their opinions on the safety of the CSIRO's trial.
Following their report, WA opposition agriculture spokesman Paul Papalia called on the state government to abandon a trial of GM wheat in Merredin, which was announced in 2010.
However, a spokesman for the state's agriculture minister Terry Redman said the variety in question was not being trialled in WA.
Mr Redman said a trial of the variety in the Australian Capital Territory was not complete, so it was too early to say whether it was safe.
"To claim halfway through a trial, speculating in fact, that something's unsafe now is quite frankly too early to do so, and I think scaremongering," he told ABC.
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16/09/2012 3:31:22 p.m.
Thanks to exposure to the genotoxin chloramphenicol, that was in a genetically modified insecticide the government exposed me to, I get major problems with carbohydrates in my large intestine. This type of carb feeds the uncontrolled growth of bacteria in my body.
12/09/2012 6:46:21 p.m.
The potential dangers of GM are too great for this kind of thing to be allowed to happen.. Scientists are not as smart as they think they are, they cannot foresee all the consequences (good and bad) of playing God.
12/09/2012 10:26:16 a.m.
there are so many ways to address ill health, starting with a healthy, PH neutral diet, stop eating meat, do some yoga and breath properly...the answers to digestive problems have been around for thousands of years, people need to look at the amazing body of knowledge that already has the cure, not some GM food that is supplied by a corporation only out for profit...I wouldn't trust these people if my life depended on it.
12/09/2012 10:09:51 a.m.
We do not need GE on our food. Tampering with nature is a scary thought. The Earth is already ready angry at it's abuse.
12/09/2012 7:02:16 a.m.
Self-important politicians thinking they know better than scientists & academics. Politicians are far to eager to dismiss the science & the facts in favour of their *gut instinct* and the *bottom line*. We've seen it with John Key on BBC Hardtalk dismissing the research of Dr Mike Joy - a leading environmental scientist - into our water quality, calling it an *opinion*, and that like lawyers he could just buy another one. Disregarding the science and the facts leads to terrible policy making, with long term consequences for us all. I guess National doesn't expect to be in office long enough to have to deal with the consequences of its short-sightedness.
The ongoing push by multi-national corporates for the introduction of GM/GE food crops is about nothing more than the privatisation of the world's food supply. If you control the food, you control the people.
Considering the Key-led Government donated $100,000 to the recent Agricultural Biotechnology Conference - a conference comprised of lobbyists pushing to get GM crops growing in New Zealand - John Key would happily open the gates of NZ to Monsanto and their ilk, allowing them to infest our food chain with genetically modified organisms.
Farmers growing GM crops would then discover that their crop belongs to the patent owners, such as Monsanto and Bayer. And if your GM-free farm is accidentally contaminated - the patent holder could fine you for growing GM seed without a contract, and will own you too. Once the door is opened, GM contamination is inevitable.
If the Trans Pacific Partnership allows Monsanto and their ilk to get a foothold in New Zealand, we can kiss goodbye to our food security.
If you control the food, you control the people.
Only a neo-liberal sell-out would hand over control of our food supply.
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