News last update:6 Aug 2012

GM corn approved for human consumption

Food Standards Australia New Zealand has changed the food safety code, which allows Monsanto to sell GM corn (intended for animal feed) for human consumption.

Corn line LY038 has been engineered to have high levels of the amino acid, lysine, in combination with high levels of sugar up to four times the amount found in conventional sweet corn. When fed to livestock it speeds growth and muscle development.

Safety requirements
Food Standards Australia New Zealand spokeswoman Lydia Buchtmann says Monsanto's application met all necessary safety requirements. "We're very rigorous in our safety assessments and in fact we're renowned around the world for how well we do them," she said.

But a storm is brewing on both sides of the Tasman over the GM corn's approval for human consumption. Greenpeace alleges Monsanto wanted the code changed because it expects the GM animal feedstock to end up in the human food chain. And in New Zealand, Food Safety Minister Annette King says she is holding off on her final approval while she seeks further advice.

Related websites: 
Food Standards Australia New Zealand   

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