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3-Food: GE contamination in maize in New Zealand originates in RR soy bean meal



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TITLE:  GM test results point to approved GM soy, not maize
SOURCE: New Zealand Food Safety Authority
        http://www.nzfsa.govt.nz/publications/media-releases/2005-08-17-gm.htm
DATE:   17 Aug 2005

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GM test results point to approved GM soy, not maize

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) and New Zealand Food
Safety Authority's (NZFSA) investigations into a recent discovery of the
presence of a genetically modified organism (GMO) in harvested maize
grain indicate that this presence has not come from the maize itself, but
rather from a residue of imported soya bean meal held in the same storage
or transport facilities.

On 27 July 2005 MAF announced that it was investigating a GMO-positive
test result from a maize sample following routine industry testing. The
maize, stored in the upper North Island, was tested as part of normal
quality assurance procedures and has been isolated while further
investigations were completed. Those investigations included sending
samples to an accredited overseas laboratory. None of this material has
passed into the human food chain.

MAF eradication programmes manager Ian Gear said that in addition to
laboratory testing, MAF and the NZFSA have conducted an analysis of the
storage and processing facilities involved, and had received full support
from the companies involved as well as from the grain and seed industry.

"On the basis of all of the information we have received, we believe that
the GMO detected here came from imported soya bean meal, rather than from
maize. Laboratory testing of maize and soya bean meal have tested
positive for a Roundup-ready construct used in soy. This is approved
under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. Our site
investigations show that the same facilities had recently been used for
the storage of non-viable soya bean meal imported for livestock feed.
Maize samples taken from other silos containing the same seed lines as
those in the contaminated store have all tested negative to the presence
of GMOs," Ian Gear said.

The presence of a GMO in imported non-viable soy bean meal poses no
biosecurity risk, although presence of soy in the maize consignment may
raise issues of compliance with the Food Standards Code, for foods made
from the maize.

NZFSA Director (New Zealand Standards) Tim Knox, said "The Authority is
working closely with the companies involved and notes it has been advised
that the maize concerned will not be used in the manufacture of food for
human consumption."


For further comment contact:

Tim Knox, NZFSA Director (New Zealand Standards); Tel: (04) 463 2651 or
(021) 403 990

Ian Gear, MAF Eradication Programmes Manager; Tel (04) 474 4275 or (027)
223 1748

For further information contact:

Diane Robinson, NZFSA Senior Communications Adviser; Tel (04) 463 2528 or
(021) 193 6405

Brett Sangster, MAF Communications Director; Tel (04) 498 9882 or (027)
247 8777




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