The Sustainability Council welcomes Food Safety Minister Annette King’s announcement today that she is seeking further advice on the appropriateness of approving GM high lysine corn as a food.

This step provides the minister with time to give due regard to the public health issues as lysine corn poses serious health risks that have yet to be adequately investigated.

It is also prudent in light of the failure of FSANZ to adhere to international guidelines in its safety assessment of the LY038 corn. FSANZ has looked for possible safety issues by comparing one GM variety with another variety that has also been genetically modified. The international guidelines require it to consistently compare the new GM corn with a conventional corn that has a history of safe use.

Further, FSANZ has accepted a Monsanto study based on rats and chickens fed with raw corn, when humans eat cooked corn. Cooking accelerates the production of Advanced Glycation Endproducts (AGEs) that are implicated in a series of major and important human diseases, or their complications.

It is appropriate that the minister obtains further advice before making a precedent-setting decision.