FOEA Emerging tech Project

While scientists call for precaution and transparency, Government proposes deregulating new GM techniques

Scientists Professor Jennifer Doudna and Assistant Professor Kevin Esvelt will speak at a forum in Melbourne tonight on the need for precaution and transparency in the application of the new genetic modification (GM) technique CRISPR[i]. Meanwhile our Federal Government is proposing changes to our Gene Technology Regulations that would make Australia the first country in the world to deregulate the use of this technique in animals, plants and...

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FSANZ misled minister regarding nanoparticles in baby formula

In July 2017, independent testing commissioned by Friends of the Earth found nanoparticles in popular Australian infant formula products that are both illegal in Australia and potentially dangerous. Now, documents released under Freedom of Information laws show that our food regulator Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) unilaterally ‘legalised’ the use of nano-hydroxyapatite in baby formula after previously declaring it wasn’t...

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Scientists question the safety of nano-titanium dioxide in food

Last week scientists at a Nanosafety Forum hosted by the University of Sydney raised concerns about the continued use of nanoparticles of titanium dioxide (TiO2) in food and called for the better regulation of nanomaterials. A number of recent studies have raised serious concerns about the potential toxicity of nano TiO2 in food. However, our food regulator Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) continues to assert that it is safe and to...

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Government proposes deregulating dangerous new GM techniques

Late last week, while the entire media was consumed with the High Court ruling on dual citizenship, the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) quietly emailed stakeholders with its proposed changes to Australia’s Gene Technology Regulations. These would deregulate new genetic modification (GM) techniques such as CRISPR, classified as “weapons of mass destruction and proliferation” in the annual worldwide threat assessment report of the...

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Civil society rejects GMOs at FAO meeting

Civil society representatives firmly rejected genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as a means of addressing world food security at a recent Food and Agriculture Organization meeting in Malaysia. The event was funded by the pro-GM US, Canadian and Australian Governments. Civil society representatives from the Global South rejected the premise of the event that improved access to agricultural biotechnologies are needed to help defeat hunger,...

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