The National Government needs to investigate links between anti-biotic resistance and herbicides including the commonly used herbicide glyphosate after news that an anti-biotic resistant strain of campylobacter is now present in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.
“Glypohosate, the active ingredient in Roundup weedkiller, is commonly sprayed on GE soy crops around the world. GE soy is widely used in chicken feed in New Zealand, yet herbicide residue levels are not tested for in animal feed.
“University of Canterbury’s Dr Jack Heinemann has done research into the worrying effects of herbicides, including glyphosate, and how they can cause anti-biotic resistance in some bacteria.
“MPI must quickly begin residue testing the imported feeds for herbicide and other pesticide residues, and check to see if the stock feeds contain superbugs and antibiotics, or whether the superbugs are being developed in the chickens and intensive poultry sheds.
“The Government needs to consider the effect herbicide residues has on our food and the foods we use in animal agriculture to seriously to protect the health of New Zealanders, who are now being exposed to an anti-biotic resistant strain of campylobacter in everyday food,” Mr Browning said.