University audience find international speakers riveting


Press release 10.2.15

University audience find international speakers riveting

The first Food Matters Aotearoa talk in the University of Canterbury, was supported by an excellent turnout.

The speakers from the US and France provided riveting information about the state of our food supply and the impacts of agricultural chemicals.

Jerome Douzelet, chef from France, produced pictures of mouthwatering dishes , which accompanied his commentary on the flavours of food and how they are destroyed by chemical sprays. He described taste tests involving animals fed GE feedstuff and how this impacted badly on taste and tenderness of meats, a warning to the New Zealand market against any introduction of GE grasses.

Professor Seralini, uncompromisingly discussed his GE research on rats. He decried the use of Roundup on food crops, a practice which is becoming increasingly common in New Zealand, describing the adjuvants and other additives used in commercial herbicide preparations as being thousands of times more toxic than the glyphosate itself which would often not kill weeds/plants alone. These toxins are now accumulating in soils, water supplies and air increasing incidence of human ailments.  Particularly critical of regulatory agencies and their acceptance of industry testing of chemicals and GE foods, he warned of the toxicity of commonly used pesticides, herbicides and fungicides.

Professor Don Huber, plant pathologist has worked for more than 50 years in the field. His research shows that Roundup has seriously deleterious effects on soil microorganisms increasing the incidence of fungal and other disease outbreaks, thus damaging soil structures which then become prone to waterlogging.

Describing plants genetically engineered to withstand repeated sprays of Roundup he has found serious depletion of minerals particularly manganese, calcium and iron leading firstly to decreasing crop vitality and further to a failure to thrive in stock and humans who eat crops produced in this way. Roundup also increases a plants need for water, farmers in the US finding their use of GE crops combined with Roundup sprays doubles their water requirements overall.

Questions from the audience revealed that once GE crops were planted horizontal gene transfer into soil microorganisms could prevent any soil remediation being fully implemented.

Susie Lees


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