15/01/2008

Containment Breach of GE Trees.

 

The biosecurity containment facility at Scion (Forest Research Institute Ltd) had been breached and investigations by MAF are underway. A breach could pose a biosecurity threat with the risk of GE plant material or clippings being removed from the site.

“Given the relaxed biosecurity measures of the CRI’s in such facilities, this comes as no surprise; MAF and ERMA have also been very carefree over the enforcement of safety conditions around the field trial sites in New Zealand” said Claire Bleakley of GE Free (NZ) in food and environment

Environmental protection is on the international agenda and organisations like the Forest Stewardship Council; a leader in ethical sustainable forestry which does not endorse the growing of products from GE trees.

“This is the kind of gold standard that NZ needs to maintain for our clean green international reputation to be protected” said Jon Carapiet spokesperson of GE Free (NZ) in food and environment.
There have been regular breaches in protocols and containment facility standards that have not been fully looked into. These include the illegal importation of GE onion seed, impregnation of GE embryo’s into surrogate GE cows, and large rabbit holes around the Scion site, as reported by Organic (NZ).

In light of repeated breaches ERMA should impose a moratorium on approval of any further trials that cannot be completely contained and stringently monitored. This is especially necessary given major issues around liability and the damage caused by GE escape and contamination.

ENDS

Claire Bleakley 027 348 6731
Jon Carapiet 021 050 7681

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