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New Research Damages Government's GE Safety Claims

08 July 2002

Government's reassurances that genetically engineered crops can be released safely look even more shaky today in the light of new evidence from Australia, Green Party co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said.

"A new study shows that pollen can travel at least three kilometres to contaminate neighbouring crops. That is much further than anyone - scientists, farmers or politicians - expected," she said.

"Obviously that raises serious problems for both organic and conventional farmers who want to keep their crops clean.

"It is becoming very clear that there is no 'safe distance' for planting GE crops."

Ms Fitzsimons said it is very encouraging that this study did not involve planting GE canola, but followed the spread of a new conventional variety of canola.

"Pro-GE lobby groups claim that we need GE field trials to examine the risk of planting GE crops, but this study shows a lot can be learned from studying conventional crops, as well as from lab research."

The report in the New Scientist followed the spread of canola which was not genetically engineered, but which acts the same way in its cross-pollination. The article can be viewed at http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99992471/


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