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CAP seeks freeze on lab foods

 | October 4, 2012

A new study finds that NK603, widely used in the food industry, is dangerous to humans and animals.

GEORGE TOWN: The Consumers’ Association of Penang (CAP) has urged the government to freeze the import of NK603, a kind of genetically modified maize that is widely used in the food and animal feed industries.

Quoting a recent study carried out in France, CAP President SM Mohamed Idris warned that the product caused hormonal changes that could lead to early death.

NK603 is tolerant to Roundup, which is the most widely used herbicide in the world.

The new study, carried out at the University of Caen and published in the scientific journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, found that the product caused mammary tumours and pituitary problems in women and severe kidney problems in both men and women.

According to the researchers, 80% of GM food and animal feed use Roundup-tolerant transgenic maize.

Idris said the use of GM animal feed had been hidden from consumers.

Because labelling laws differed from country to country and most products were not labelled adequately, consumers would not know that they were taking eggs, meat or milk from GM-fed animals, he added.

“Thus precautionary measures are necessary in the wake of enhanced assessment methods and longer period of animal feeding trials that have found potential health impacts,” he said.

The government approved NK603 maize—called MON603 in Malaysia—before the Biosafety Act 2007 came into force. The National Biosafety Board (NBB) acknowledged this fact in May 2010.

Other approvals before the Biosafety Act included MON810 maize, MON863 maize and MON4032 soybean.

Idris called on the NBB to regard the latest research findings with gravity and impose a moratorium on all GM products imported for food and animal feed and their processing.

“Approvals of GM products for human and animal consumption should be revoked and their status re-evaluated,” he said.


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