Auckland, 30 April 2008 – A2 Corporation (NZAX: ATM) welcomes the review by Dr Slorach on the New Zealand Food Safety Authority’s (NZFSA) procedures in the handling of Professor Swinburn’s report on A1/A2 milk. A2 Corporation notes that the Slorach review identifies shortcomings in the procedures of the NZFSA and recommends several areas for improvement.
A2 Corporation CEO Anthony Lawler stated that “A2 Corporation is committed to further ongoing research related to a2 milk. We support Dr Slorach’s findings that NZFSA did not take any specific action to encourage more debate and scientific research as recommended by Professor Swinburn’s report to the NZFSA”.
A2 Corporation also welcomes Minister of Food Safety Lianne Dalziel’s statement yesterday supporting government funding of future research in this important area. Lawler adds that “A2 Corporation looks forward to taking part in this process”.
Lawler comments “one of the key areas of Dr Slorach’s review is the discussion of potential conflict of interest that the NZFSA has in having to both a) promote and protect public health while b) facilitating market access for food”. Lawler adds ‘this institutional conflict of interest resulted in the original review not fully considering all the areas of science that support the a2 Milk™ proposition”.
Lawler also states that “while Dr Slorach’s report discusses the “precautionary principle” it does not investigate why the NZFSA directed Professor Swinburn to disregard the “precautionary principle” in the original Swinburn report”. The precautionary principle states “that the absence of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason to postpone measures where there is a risk of serious or irreversible harm to public health or the environment”.
Lawler adds that “we believe that had NZFSA applied the precautionary principle at the time of the Swinburn report, the public may have received a more positive view of the health benefits of a2 Milk™”.
The Slorach review highlights that the NZFSA chose to deliberately delete the Lay Summary in Professor Swinburn’s report on A1/A2 milk. Lawler comments that “this had a negative effect in achieving a transparent and robust debate amongst both the media and general public at the time”.
Lawler adds that the real issue is that the A1/A2 debate is an important population health issue.
“We welcome Dr Slorach’s comments that the Ministry of Health, whose main focus is the promotion of health in New Zealand, should have been more involved in the initial review”.
Lawler adds “there is a percentage of the population who have a predisposition or concern about serious health conditions such as childhood diabetes, heart health and gut health. A2 Corporation sees no risk and only benefits if these people begin to consume a2 Milk™”.
For more information please contact:
Anthony Lawler, CEO A2 Corporation, Ph +64 9 5233 129
Julien Leys, JML Communications, Mobile +64 21 655 598