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GE Scare Shows Needs For Canola Investigation

The Green Party has called for an investigation into genetically-engineered canola field trials in the South Island after research made public today showed genetically engineered pollen can be spread up to five kilometres.

Three field trials of genetically-engineered canola (also known as oilseed rape) were grown in Canterbury in recent years with little monitoring of environmental effects. A report from Britain today showed that genetically engineered pollen was found to have breached a trial crop's 50 metre security area - beyond which it was said pollen was unlikely to travel - and traveled up to five kilometres.

Green Party Agriculture spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street said the revelations that showed the level of understanding about this technology is very poor and certainly not to be trusted.

Mr Ewen-Street said the findings proved that extreme caution and suspicion should be used when dealing with genetically engineered trials.

"The fact that this pollen traveled so much further than the 'experts' ever expected shows that you cannot be too careful with this technology. Here we have seen a supposedly contained field trial spilling genetically engineered pollen over a huge area," he said.

"This genetic pollution, were it to ever occur in New Zealand, would be a huge threat to New Zealand agriculture.

"As an organic farmer I am extremely concerned about the news that genetically engineered field trials are so poorly supervised, monitored or understood.

"We simply must stop this technology from infiltrating New Zealand until we are satisfied we know all there is to know about it," he said.

"Todays developments show we are nowhere near this stage."


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