FOR the first time, locally produced genetically engineered canola is entering our food chain.From oils to margarine, baby food to snacks, muesli to dairy products, GE canola oil can be found in many processed foods, but consumers are oblivious to what food it is in.A report released by Greenpeace last September said there was only one year left to stop the potential GE contamination of canola, and tonight, as part of the Sydney International Food Festival, a public forum will explain its concern about GE foods.The forum, called ”Out of the Frying Pan” will hear from the food writer and activist John Newton, the author Dr Carole Hungerford, the Greenpeace campaigner Rochelle Porteous and the chef Alex Herbert.Ms Porteous said the risk of locally grown GE canola becoming part of Australia’s oil supplies was a critical issue.She said there were concerns about health problems, sustainability and biodiversity, apart from agricultural contamination. ”There hasn’t been any long-term tests on the impact on human health,” she said.”There have been a number of studies that have shown GE food to have serious health impacts on the immune system.”We have studies that show over 90 per cent of Australian consumers want to know exactly what’s in their food.”Alex Herbert, from Bird Cow Fish in Surry Hills, is one of more than 180 Australian chefs to sign the Genetically Modified Free Chefs Charter opposed to serving genetically modified or engineered foods in their restaurants.The charter calls on the Federal Government to legislate for the compulsory labelling of all GE foods, as well as encouraging the NSW Government to reinstate its suspension on growing GE canola.Ms Herbert said as the long-term implications of planting GE crops were unclear, people should not rush to plant something which may have negative consequences in 10 or 15 years.The author of Good Health in the 21st Century, Dr Carole Hungerford, said there could be health implications for gut bacteria if GE food was consumed regularly.”I believe that man’s ingenuity can sometimes outrun his common sense,” she said.”The genes from GM foods can get into the gut bacteria and the gut bacteria is the most critical thing.”Sixty to 90 per cent of your immune system is in your gut.”Dr Hungerford said the best defence against the increase of allergies and auto-immune deficiencies was to keep gut bacteria healthy.
Nanjing Night Net

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