The arrival of genetically modified grain in Newcastle today places the community and animal health at risk, Greens MLC Ian Cohen said.
“There are severe implications for all living things from genetic engineering (GE) from health risks to humans and animals to environmental risks due to transfer of altered genetic material.”
Mr Cohen called on the NSW Government to protect the community and immediately place a moratorium on the general release of all genetically modified organisms (GMOs), including GE fibre, food and animal-feed products, into the environment for a minimum of 5 years.
“There are no guarantees for public or animal health once this grain is distributed. All GMOs should be removed from NSW immediately, including the destruction of both deliberately released GMOs and those crops and natural communities found to be genetically contaminated.
“GE foods may cause more widespread allergic reactions from organisms inserted as part of the genetic engineering process and as genes from allergenic foods are incorporated into previously non-allergenic foods.
Mr Cohen said proper health and environmental impact assessments must be carried out to establish the risks associated with genetically engineered foods.
“We have the support in this of 68 per cent of the Australian public and 93 per cent also support the labelling of GE food,” Mr Cohen said.