Toxins OK for Kiwi kids but not for export beef?

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The Soil & Health Association supports the New Zealand Food Safety Authority’s (NZFSA) tracing and successful prosecution of a farmer who misused the neurotoxic insecticide endosulphan on cattle, and now Soil & Health wants NZFSA to take the neurotoxic artificial sweetener aspartame out of schools.

“Both chemicals affect the human nervous system. One also affected New Zealand’s exports when misused, and the other affects the health of New Zealand’s children and community, but NZFSA is focused on supporting the economic base of the food industry and actual food safety comes a significant second best,” said Soil & Health spokesperson Steffan Browning.

An Auckland farmer was fined $15,000 yesterday for using endosulphan as a non-approved animal spray on cattle, following a breach of international standards of endosulphan in beef exports to Korea. The breach caused a suspension of exports to Korea.

NZFSA down played the health risks of endosulphan, which is banned in many countries, when the endosulphan residue was found, and yesterday said that there were no human health issues. NZFSA continues to defend endosulphan use in horticulture, although this highly toxic insecticide has been linked to breast cancer, hormonal disruption, mimicking oestrogen and producing infertility, as well as foetal, gene, neurological, behavioural and immune system damage even at very low doses.

The Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) is to reassess the use of endosulphan in New Zealand within a year and has acknowledged a wide range of toxicities and the increasing banning and restrictions against the use of the pesticide. Significantly, agrichemical giant Bayer did not wish to provide data to support endosulphan’s continued use in New Zealand.

“Soil & Health accepts the importance of NZFSA in ensuring New Zealand exports meet overseas requirements, but wants the agency to lift its performance in protecting New Zealand’s citizens, especially children, from the synthetic and often toxic food additives and pesticides, such as aspartame and endosulphan,” said Browning.

“To achieve our children’s protection, NZFSA must work with Food Safety Minister Annette King to get aspartame away from schools, then phase these neurotoxins out of the food chain. This will require a change from the slavish reliance on automatic acceptance of overseas food safety agency decisions from industry-produced science. Reputable and independent science has shown the very real risks of aspartame and endosulphan, but to date NZFSA trots out acceptance of corrupted research, rather than rock big business’s toxic boat.”

Soil & Health and the Safe Food Campaign have been hosting Betty Martini, international anti-aspartame campaigner and expert from the USA, and Wellington aspartame sufferer Abby Cormack, to public meetings in Christchurch and Wellington, with Auckland’s Thursday 2nd August 7-30pm at the Auckland Medical School, 85 Grafton Road.

Soil & Health is also calling for school boards to pull aspartame from school canteens and vending machines for 60 days to test for behavioural and health improvements in pupils.

“The increasing incidence in obesity, depression, anxiety, and behavioural problems has been linked to aspartame use, and a range of negative health symptoms including headaches, rashes and cramps can be expected to reduce with an aspartame gap,” said Browning. “Diet drinks and sugar-free food products generally contain aspartame, and contrary to fighting obesity, are likely to aggravate the condition.”

“Soil & Health has a motto of Healthy Soil, Healthy Food, Healthy People, and promotes a diet free from synthetic additives.”