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6-Regulation: Malaysian NGOs urge government to table biosafety law



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TITLE:  Table Biosafety Bill, groups urge govt
SOURCE: The Star, Malaysia
        http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/2/16/north/
13164510&sec=North
DATE:   16 Feb 2006

------------------ archive:  http://www.genet-info.org/ ------------------


Table Biosafety Bill, groups urge govt

THE Government has been urged to table the proposed Biosafety Bill to
ensure public and environmental safety following the introduction of
numerous genetically modified (GM) crops in the country.

In making the call, Con-sumer Association of Penang and Sahabat Alam
Malaysia (SAM) said the Bill was important so as to ensure that the food
that the public consumed were safe from any side effects.

They said the government must ensure that crops or food that are
genetically modified must be labelled for public knowledge.

The two NGOs quoted parts of the 100-page report released by the Friends
of the Earth International that said the market was heavily penetrated
with GM crops such as soybean, cotton and corn.

SAM honorary secretary/ CAP legal advisor Meenakshi Raman said the
government and relevant authorities should label food that are GM so that
the consumers know the contents of the food they eat, allowing them to
make a choice.

"Without this labelling, consumers do not know whether the food that they
consume are genetically engineered, nor are they sure that it is safe.

"It could be dangerous and risky for our health," she said.

She added that the Malaysian Government should follow the example of the
European Union, which has strict laws regarding the matter.

She also said that more Malaysians are now opting for organic food and as
such GM crops and food are not necessary.

GM crops are genetically engineered. The crops lose their original gene
through injection of foreign DNA to increase its producti- vity and
resistance to her-bicides.

Research has yet to be done to prove that GM food is safe to be consumed
and will not cause any side effects or diseases.




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