Dr Paul Butler
GE Foods "Health Timebomb"
GE foods are a potential "health timebomb" as they are being served up for human consumption without sufficient testing.
This is the message of Dr Paul Butler, spokesperson for Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics, who was
speaking at today’s ERMA Science Seminar on Gene Technology.
"As concerned doctors and scientists we are deeply worried that GE foods have been released into the human food chain
without adequate testing for potential toxicity and adverse long-term effects," Dr Butler said.
"This is an unsupportable double-standard considering that drugs have to go through such a rigorous testing regieme
before they are unleashed on the public. "Yet, with genetically-engineered foods, this standard of rigorous testing has
effectively been thrown out the door.
"We believe that science is not working for the public good in this case. Rather it has been captured by multi-national
biotech companies hellbent on profit, who have forced GE foods onto an unsuspecting public. "It is appalling that so
much GE food has been introduced unlabelled, with the consumer having no right of choice.
"We hope the tide is now turning, because of the massive public opposition to this enforced diet of GE foods." Dr Butler
said his group was not opposed to GE technology as such, but simply wanted GE products to be adequately tested before
being released for human consumption.
"We want the same standards that apply to drugs to be enforced with GE foods. It is time the consumer took control of
this process, not the multi-nationals trying to make a fast buck." Dr Butler said his group was definitely opposed to
any GE foods being grown outside of laboratory conditions, because of the risk that GE organisms posed to the
"As human beings, we are playing with a frighteningly powerful technology with GE, which could have catastrophic
environmental effects if something goes seriously wrong. "GE scientists claim they have everything under control, but
you only have to look back to things like Mad Cow disease, Chernobyl, or thalodamide to see what can potentially go
wrong despite scientist’s assurances."
Dr Butler said that Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics welcomed the Royal Commission of Inquiry, and
asked that the Government take note of the risks New Zealanders are facing right now from GE foods and GE organisms in
For further information, contact Dr Paul Butler 025-973-364