GENETICALLY engineered foods using technologies that have been rejected in Europe and India due to health concerns are to be approved for sale in Australia.As debate continues over GM food labelling laws, Food Standards Australia New Zealand plans to accept three more GM applications for insect-resistant soya beans, drought-tolerant corn and an enzyme designed to produce super bread. Based on testing data provided by the producers – Monsanto and DSM Food Specialties – the agency said it found no cause for safety concerns. But anti-GM lobbyists expressed fears about the possibility of the transfer of bacteria and antibiotic genes to humans.The corn crop contains antibiotic-resistant genes that scientists fear could pass to humans, and the European Food Safety Authority called for its phasing out in 2005, said Laura Kelly of Greenpeace. Ms Kelly said there were also concerns about an E coli bacterium in the corn.The chief scientist of Food Standards Australia New Zealand, Dr Paul Brent, said the risk of antibiotic resistance transference was ”effectively zero”.”If there is any transfer at all, it’s going to occur at extremely low frequency,” he said.The soya bean crop contains the same toxin as a GM eggplant that the Indian government rejected in February after it was linked with liver and reproductive damage in rats.Bob Phelps, director of Gene Ethics, said tighter scientific benchmarks were needed to test the safety of GM foods.
Nanjing Night Net