Previously known as Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics PSRGNZ - Charitable Trust
As required under the new 2005 Charities Act, PSGR has reregistered as a charitable trust.

1 June 2011

 

Mayor Morris Cutforth, all councillors and CEO Mark Simpson

Whangarei District Council                           

Private Bag 9023

WHANGAREI 0148

 

Dear Sirs and Mesdames

We write to congratulate you on your recent unanimous decision to put in place a plan change that will ban genetically engineered organisms (GEO) land use in your district; and your further commitment to approach all councils in the Auckland-Far North region to undertake a plan change to regulate or prevent the use of transgenic organisms in the environment.  This is particularly commendable given the failure of central government to properly amend the flawed HSNO Act and establish national minimal regulations and truly strict liability.

 

It is all the more important in view of the Canadian study recently published which has revealed the presence of circulating pesticides associated with genetically engineered foods in the blood stream of women, including pregnant women and their unborn children.1

Many scientists, doctors and members of the public have warned regulatory agencies that the inherent risks of genetic engineering mean that its products should be limited to laboratory containment and not released into the open environment and especially kept out of the food supply.  This study supports the wisdom of this caution and demonstrates the flaw of the central claim of the genetic engineering industry that genetically engineered foods are ‘substantially equivalent’ to normal foods. 

The public have a right to ask why regulatory agencies have accepted such an unlikely and apparently self-serving claim, and why they have failed to demand appropriate scientific proof that GE (or GM, genetically modified) foods are in reality ‘substantially equivalent’ in every significant way, including safety. 

Those with challenged immune systems, the elderly and the young are particularly vulnerable to exposure to toxins.  The unborn are the most vulnerable and the public places its trust in the regulatory authorities whose duty it is to protect the vulnerable.

This study exposes how regulatory agencies, health authorities and governments have failed to respect this trust by allowing these novel products into the public food supply without requiring the proof of safety that any reasonable member of the public would expect. 

Genetically engineered organisms should continue to be kept under the strict controls of laboratory confinement, where they can be used for research and medical purposes, and not released into the environment or the food chain.

We attach our 25 May 2011 Press Release, ‘Doctors and Scientists call for a rethink of regulation on genetically engineered food’ and you have been emailed our 23 May 2011 Open Letter to Government which complements our submission to your Long Term Plans.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Signed on behalf of the Trustees of Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics by Jean Anderson

Enc.

Reprod Toxicol. 2011 Feb 18 [Epub ahead of print] ‘Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada’, Aris A, Leblanc S.

Press Release 25 May 2011, ‘Doctors and Scientists call for a rethink of regulation on Genetically Engineered Food’. www.psgr.org.nz/index.php?option=com_content&view=section&layout=blog&id=1&Itemid=42

Ends