GE Free New Zealand in Food & Environment, 11th  November 2004

US Government Report Warns "Mill GM Seeds to Stop Contamination"

A US- government report has warned that immediate milling of imported GM seed is a necessary safeguard to prevent further contamination of conventional maize in countries bordering the US.

The report prepared by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is the result of investigations into GM contamination in Mexico- the centre of biodiversity and origin of the world's original maize lines.

Despite a ban on GM seeds native lines of maize in Mexico have been accidentally contaminated as a result of illegal seed imports and cross-pollination in the field. It is understood the NAFTA report has been suppressed because of the negative impact it will have on the GM-industry but the findings have been published on the internet.

The report also vindicates African countries who insisted imported maize for food aid was milled before distribution to prevent it spreading. At the time some US authorities lambasted aid-recipients and suggested they "take it or starve" .
"The fact that Mexico has been so widely contaminated signals again the need to prevent contamination of the food supply and environment," says Jon Carapiet from GE Free NZ in food and environment.

"New Zealand's geographical position, cultural values, and clean-green tourism and export image, makes our role as a GE-free "ark" more important," says Mr Carapiet.

"Protecting non-contaminated seed production is not just a vital economic opportunity, it also reflects our duty as a good international citizen.

"As well as maintaining zero-tolerance for GM contamination in imported seed, New Zealand should make it mandatory to use leaf-disc tests as developed by Pacific Seeds to weed out GM seed each season," says Mr Carapiet.

Jon Carapiet 09 815 3370


Suppressed NAFTA Report Shows Threat to Global Agriculture
Posted to the IUF website 01-Nov-2004


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