Genetically modified?

Genetically modified?

Soon you won’t know – and genetically modified foods won’t be assessed for safety either.

If the biotechnology industry gets its way, Australia will be the first country in the world to deregulate a range of new genetic modification (GM) techniques in animals, plants and microbes. They will enter our food chain and our environment with no safety testing and no labelling. The risks are enormous and the results could be catastrophic.

Reviews commissioned by the Austrian and Norwegian governments concluded that not enough is known about the risks these new GM techniques pose. They recommended that products derived from them require comprehensive case-by-case risk assessments.

Soon you won’t know – and genetically modified foods won’t be assessed for safety either.

If the biotechnology industry gets its way, Australia will be the first country in the world to deregulate a range of new genetic modification (GM) techniques in animals, plants and microbes. They will enter our food chain and our environment with no safety testing and no labelling. The risks are enormous and the results could be catastrophic.

Reviews commissioned by the Austrian and Norwegian governments concluded that not enough is known about the risks these new GM techniques pose. They recommended that products derived from them require comprehensive case-by-case risk assessments.

Take action: Demand all GM food be assessed for safety

Please take a few minutes to tell our Food Regulator Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) why you think these techniques should be properly regulated.

 

Read FSANZ’s invitation to comment.

 

Read more about these techniques and the potential risks posed by them.


Please note: your submission will be made public unless you request that it remain confidential and will be cc'd to relevant decision makers. Submissions close 19th April.

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Here are some points you could include in your own comments:

  • Genetic modification techniques pose unique risks and all new genetic modification techniques should be assessed for safety before being allowed in our food. They should also be labelled so we are fully informed. This includes gene editing, GM rootstock grafting, cisgenesis, intragenesis RNA interference and null segregants.
  • CRISPR was only invented 5 years ago . Reviews commissioned by the Austrian and Norwegian governments concluded that not enough is known about the risks (e.g. off target effects) posed by new GM techniques such as CRISPR. They recommended that products derived from these techniques require comprehensive case-by-case risk assessments.
  • Gene editing techniques cause DNA double strand breaks and can be used sequentially to make dramatic differences to DNA. They are also prone to additional unexpected mutations. The risks associated with these techniques warrant pre-market safety assessment and approval.
  • RNA interference is a GM technique and can result in heritable genetic changes so must also be assessed for safety before being used in our food.
  • GM plants, animals and microbes all pose unique risks so assessing the GM production process is appropriate.