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Investigation is business as usual

Hon Jim Sutton

MP for Aoraki

Minister of Agriculture, Minister for Biosecurity, Minister for Trade Negotiations, and Associate Minister for Rural Affairs

Media Statement

27 July 2005

Investigation is business as usual

The investigation by MAF and Environment Ministry officials into a potential GM finding is business as usual, Biosecurity Minister Jim Sutton today announced.

The Agriculture and Forestry Ministry, which is responsible for enforcing the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act, announced today that a single positive GM finding had been found in harvested maize in storage in the upper North Island.

Mr Sutton said very little information was available on the situation at the moment, and further testing and work was ongoing. MAF were taking a large number of samples from the maize in storage and these would be tested overseas.

"We have had several of these scares in the past few years, and officials are dealing with this one in the same way as they have dealt with the others. It's very much business as usual."

Mr Sutton said our legal system means that any positive test is treated seriously.

"All the proper measures are in place to deal with this. The maize has been isolated while investigations continue.

"Until the new tests are completed and the results analysed, it is hard to know exactly what we are dealing with."

ENDS

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