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Greens call for GE-Free seed trade network

9 August 2002

Greens call for GE-Free seed trade network

Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today called for the establishment of an international seed trade network made up of countries which have not planted genetically engineered crops and have adequate biosecurity controls to prevent accidental genetic contamination.

"We are very close to the point where there will be no commercial seed source left in the world that is not contaminated with GE varieties. We still have no idea of the long-term consequences of this and it could be a global disaster," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"We need to move very quickly if we are to secure genuinely GE-Free seed sources for the world's food supply.

"What the Greens propose is that we form a network of GE-Free countries with good biosecurity and seed testing facilities which trade only with each other in agricultural seeds where GE varieties exist," she said.

"If the nations which can still guarantee that their seed is 100 per cent GE-Free formed a trade network they would not only be securing a major economic advantage but would also be protecting the world's future options if GE crops turn out to have unintended long-term effects.

"A GE-Free seed trade network would be a major economic opportunity for a number of developing countries as well as providing some much needed resistance to increasing global pressure from the biotech industry.

"We cannot afford to let the entire world's food supply be contaminated by products who's long term effects are still not known, and it is in leading this resistance that nations like New Zealand could play a part."


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