PO Box 13402
Wellington, New Zealand

GE-Free New Zealand

in food and environment (RAGE Inc.)


Call for Review of New Zealand's Approval of GE Rice


th 307808827 300x181There are renewed concerns about the approval by Food Standard Australia NZ (FSANZ) of GE Golden Rice, following a ruling by The Philippine Supreme Court that Syngenta must “cease and desist” any commercialisation and propagation of the GE rice.

The Philippine Supreme Court has required independent risk and impact assessments to be undertaken and for consent from the farmers and indigenous peoples before progressing. [1]

But the GE Golden Rice has already been approved by Food Standard Australia NZ (FSANZ). In 2017 Food Standards Australia New Zealand approved the entry of Genetically Engineered Golden Rice into the human food chain.

“This is an important decision and acknowledges the concerns of MASIPAG and the civil society organisations who took this case,” said Claire Bleakley, president of GE-Free NZ.

FSANZ are charged with upholding safeguards for public health and consumer protection in an effective and transparent way and should enable consumers to make informed choices, [2]

However FSANZ approved the rice without any evidence of safety or traceability and acknowledged that the rice would offer no advantage to the public. [3]

Despite calls at the time for the safety data to be provided [4] the Food Safety Minister, Hon Damien O’Connor, said FSANZ did not require safety tests only industry assurance of safety. [5]

“The FSANZ rubber stamping of novel GE foods without any evidence of safety is highly suspect and poses a direct threat to the integrity and safety of the food chain, the environment, farmers and consumers," said Bleakley

“FSANZ must recall the GE Rice approval in light of this significant decision by the Philippine Supreme Court which signals the legal basis for safety data to be part of genuine regulation.”


[1] https://masipag.org/2023/04/supreme-court-issues-writ-of-kalikasan-on-golden-rice-and-bt-eggplant-masipag-continues-to-call-for-action-to-end-commercialization/

[2] https://www.legislation.gov.au/Details/C2011C00117

[3] https://press.gefree.org.nz/press/20180123.htm

[4] https://www.gefree.org.nz/assets/pdf/Provitamin-Rice-A1138-20.12.17.pdf

[5] https://www.gefree.org.nz/assets/pdf/MIN18-0163-Bleakley-GM-rice-5mar18.pdf

Claire Bleakley - President 027 3486731
Jon Carapiet - Spokesman 021 0507681