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No incentive to stop another incident

28 July 2005

No incentive to stop another incident

If the Labour Government does not seek compensation from the patent owner of the GE maize that has contaminated 13,550 tonnes of the crop there is no incentive for those companies to be more careful in future, Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

MAF yesterday announced that it is investigating a GE-positive test result of maize destined for our food chain.

"If MAF's test confirm that there has been contamination then I believe the owner of the patent for the GE variety should at least be held liable for the costs of the grain merchant, the end user and MAF," she says.

In response to questions from the Green Party in the House today Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton said the Company that owned the patent for the GE maize that contaminated the crop would not be held liable for any damages, Ms Fitzsimons says.

"This provides no incentive for these companies to be more careful in future. These accidental releases are damaging to the reputation of our farmers and risk destroying the GE-Free status that New Zealanders have fought so hard to protect," she says.

"Once the GE genie is out of the bottle it is virtually impossible to put it back in."


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