Kim Chance

Kim Chance

Minister for Agriculture and Food; Forestry; the Mid West and Wheatbelt; Great Southern

    Feeding trials to test GM food safety

    26/11/2005 12:00 AM

    Agriculture Minister Kim Chance today announced that the State Government, through the Department of Agriculture, would fund an independent long-term animal feeding trial to gain data on the safety or otherwise of GM food crops.

    “The State Government is mindful that many in the community hold concerns about the safety of GM foods, with much of the research in this area being conducted or funded by the very companies that promote the GM product,” Mr Chance said.

    “This trial will be an independent study of GM food crops so that the Western Australian Government can gain its own data on GM foods.”

    Mr Chance said it was concerning that the adverse safety effects associated with a study on a variety of GM pea which caused inflammation of the lungs of mice had only come to light recently, despite 10 years of research and development.

    The inflammation was as a result of an allergic response to the protein produced by the GM pea.

    “There has been a concern for a long time that when a gene is taken out of one organism and put into another, the protein expressed by that gene may be different,” the Minister said.

    “The current safety assessments used by Food Standards Australian and New Zealand do not measure this possibility.”

    Mr Chance said the results of the GM pea study showed the need for thorough and independent feeding studies on GM foods.

    “The Gallop Government is committed to protecting and enhancing WA’s unique lifestyle and environment,” he said.

    Minister's office: 9213 6700