15 Oct 2013

Greens say food standards group too eager on GE approval

10:15 am on 15 October 2013

The Green Party believes Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) is too eager to approve genetically engineered stock feed for human consumption.

Monsanto is seeking to get a new genetically engineered variety of lucerne, also known as alfalfa, approved for human consumption in New Zealand.

Submissions are open on Monsanto's proposal until 19 November.

The new variety is being planted by farmers in the United States and FSANZ says there's little chance of it entering the food chain in New Zealand or Australia.

But on the off-chance it does, Monsanto has applied to change the food standards code to allow food derived from genetically modified lucerne.

FSANZ says the lucerne poses no threat to consumer health but Green agriculture spokesperson Steffan Browning said it was wasn't designed for human consumption and New Zealand should not give it the green light.

"I'm hoping that FSANZ will stop being a rubber-stamper and will stop approving these until proper feeding studies have been done and we are absolutely certain of safety for the humans," he says.