Submission to the Review of Gene Technology Act 2000 from Organic and Biodynamic Meats

2011 Review of Gene Technology Act 2000

Page last updated: 28 October 2011

Dear Sir,

I understand the date for submissions on the Gene technology review was extended to 20th June even though the website still says 14th. Therefore I wish to submit the following.

I believe there is insufficient evidence of the long term safety of this technology due to the majority of research having been conducted by the gene tech industry and almost none by independent experts. I believe the WA state government should engage independent researches funded by a substantial levy of current GM growers, and that no expansion of GM trials or cropping should take place until this has been completed.

Further, GM growers should be compulsorily listed for public access to ensure those in WA who wish their properties to remain uncontaminated can ensure they do not have any GM crops growing nearby. The website for listing of organic growers was available for too brief a period for all to get their properties included and most of the members of the Organic & Biodynamic Meets Co-op were too late by the time they followed up on this (the website to register for this was removed). I understand that it is to be reinstated at some future time, but the point is that the process is completely the opposite to what is fair and reasonable - i.e. GM growers should be listed, not organic farmers.

Also, as part of my submission, I wish to include the article below on resent research from Canada:

Toxins in human & foetal blood caused by genetically modified food
Research in Canada has identified a Bt toxin, produced by genetically modified (GM) insect resistant crops, in the blood of women. The study shows the toxin was passed on through fetal blood.
The study was undertaken as Sherbrooke University Hospital in Quebec where a team of researchers studied samples of blood from 30 pregnant women, 30 umbilical cords and 39 non-pregnant woman - all women were close in age.
The study shows the long-term held belief that all Bt-toxin is destroyed in the gut to be untrue.
BFA spokesperson, Dr Maarten Stapper, said the research proves, "not all Bt-toxin is broken down in the gut when we eat GM food or in plants when they senesce, as GM scientists and food safety authorities have led us to believe."
"They [GM scientists and food safety authorities] claim GM crops are safe as they have undergone more tests than non-GM before being released. That may be so but they are not conducting appropriate long-term and generational studies on GM effects after long-term use."
The conclusion of the research paper states; to our knowledge, this is the first study to highlight the presence of pesticides associated genetically modified foods in maternal, fetal and non-pregnant women's blood. 3MPPA [3-methylphosphinicopropoinic acid] and Cry1Ab toxin [Bt toxin] are clearly detectable and appear to cross the placenta to the fetus. Given the potential toxicity of these environmental pollutants and the fragility of the fetus, more studies are needed, particularly those using the placental transfer approach. (2011)
Dr Stapper says that while over two trillion means made with GM ingredients have been consumed across the world without any obvious health issues, he believes the long-term negative health effects of consuming GM are yet to be understood.
"It is a considerable concern that there are no published studies to show GM safety in long-term soil health or generational animal feeding. Why are there no such official publications when unauthorised ones show many health problems in 2nd and 3rd generations?" Dr Stapper said.

Yours sincerely,
Sherry Thomas
Secretary / Treasury
Organic & Biodynamic Meats WA Co-operative Ltd

Original submission in PDF format (PDF 67 KB)

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