Genetically engineered stock feed could be the biggest culprit in the Clostridium botulinum contamination that caused the recent recall of some Fonterra dairy products, according to the Soil & Health Association.
“New Zealand dairy cattle are eating more and more GE stockfeed, increasing the likelihood of botulism from milk products,” says Debbie Swanwick, spokesperson, Soil & Health – Organic NZ.
In May this year Soil & Health’s magazine Organic NZ published an article by Matamata vet Frank Rowson, warning that glyphosate-based herbicides (found in many GE crops) cause increases in the virulence of pathogens, leading to more botulism and salmonella.
”We stand by our demand made in December last year and call for an immediate ban on all imported GE stockfeed until its role in milk contamination has been investigated fully,” says Swanwick.
Most of the soy in New Zealand stockfeed is now genetically engineered, but some retailers have or are intending to change suppliers and buy from India and South America to produce GE free lines.
“Organic stockfeed has for years been the best guarantee of being GE-free, but it’s great to see others now responding to consumer demand. Takanini Stockfeed was the first company in New Zealand to release a GE-free ‘chook chow’ in June this year,” says Swanwick.
“Unsustainable farming practices are compromising NZ’s clean, green reputation – at a huge cost to other exporters, to health and the environment,” says Swanwick.
“Consumers want healthy, safe food. Organic and sustainable farmers have been providing it, and it’s not too late for Fonterra and other farmers to respond to this. GE-free organic food is a win all round for human and animal health, for the environment and the economy.”
Soil & Health has for years been warning about the increased potential for food scares from unsustainable farming practices. Over six years ago Soil & Health raised concerns about dicyandiamide (DCD) contamination, and in January this year DCD residues were found in milk.
Soil & Health is one of the oldest organic organisations in the world and advocates for the consumer’s right to have fresh, healthy, organic food and water free of GE, pesticides and additives and their right to know what is in their food and water. Oranga nuku, oranga kai, oranga tangata. To learn more about what is really in your food subscribe to their Facebook Page http://www.facebook.com/OrganicNZ
To view online click here http://www.organicnz.org.nz/node/716