Migrants Warned Over Foodtown’s GM Maize
Migrants from South Africa are being warned to be alert to the latest Genetically Modified food to be found on
“Springbok Special Maize Meal” is being sold in Foodtown supermarkets in the specialist section of the stores targetted
at South African migrants.
The Springbok GM maize is believed to be only the third labelled GM product identified in New Zealand (the others being
Stagg’s Chilli Beans, and ProNutro cereal, also from South Africa)
But there is concern that South African migrants longing for products from their previous homeland, are likely to be
duped. Even if they read the label on the back there is no guarantee that the GM maize is actually approved for New
Zealand, as there is no indication of what particular “genetic event” has been used to form the maize.
Food Authorities have approved a number of GM foods for importation over the last ten years, but there is no system to
test whether or not the Springbok GM Maize meal is one of the variants that is legal in New Zealand. A 1kg pack of the
maize has been provided to FSANZ but as yet it is believed there has been no testing conducted .
It is unclear if Foodtown/ Woolworths have a system to test what kind of GM maize is being used, or whether different GM
maize is used in different batches.
Earlier this year scientists confirmed research findings that at least 3 GM foodcrops already approved for New Zealand
have been identified as causing damage in test animals. Last year the American Academy of Environmental Science made a
public warning for people to avoid GM foods.
The warning follows previous advice, including from the British Medical Association (BMA) that pregnant women, the
elderly, infants, and those with suppressed immunity could be at particular risk because of the genetic structure and
use of antibiotic marker genes in Genetically Modified foods.