The maize presents a very worrying development for GE crops. If approved, there would be little or no recourse if food or feed products become contaminated with this industrial GE maize. The maize was never intended for human consumption and contains proteins not normally present in the human diet. In other words, your breakfast cornflakes could contain GE bioethanol maize.
Currently alpha-amylase enzymes are added to the maize during the bioethanol processing stage to produce ethanol. It is not necessary to genetically engineer the gene for this enzyme into maize. The only possible rationale is cost effectiveness – a poor justification for putting the food supply at risk.
Public submissions to Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) regarding the GE alpha-amylase corn close on 4 July, however its initial assessment has deemed the maize safe.
If the GE maize is approved for food and feed, there is no upper limit on how much would be allowed in foodstuffs, despite the food and feed safety claims that it would only be present in trace amounts. If approved, maize products could contain up to 100% of this GE biofuel maize.
Syngenta’s GE maize should be rejected on the basis that it is not necessary, is a risk to food and environmental safety and is likely to contaminate our food chain.
With millions of dollars invested in GE crops through CSIRO, and increasing pressure from the US to lift trade barriers, it seems that the Government is determined to bring these crops to market. This agenda has permeated many of the Government’s agencies – including Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ). Since the Federal Government clearly can’t be trusted to protect us from unsafe and unwanted GE crops, it is down to the individual states to do the right thing for consumers and the environment and keep GE crops out of our fields.