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Some Facts About Alleged GM Contamination Of Maize

a.. The entire saga was presented to the Royal Commission on GM at its hearings on 1 March 2001 by the Deputy Chairman of ERMA, Dr Oliver Sutherland (pages 59-62).

b.. The Co-Leader of the Green Party sat through the entire presentation of evidence by Dr Sutherland

c.. The Co-Leader of the Green Party cross-examined ERMA’s evidence at length but failed to ask any questions about the situation which she now claims so much surprise and shock at.

d.. The LSN was among a number of organisations which was consulted when it was first discovered the shipment of imported maize seed had potentially tested positive for a GM event.

e.. The LSN was advised prior to Christmas 2000 that Ministers had informed the leadership of the Green Party about the situation.

f.. In all about 14 tests were conducted, in laboratories in New Zealand and Australia, on a sample taken from the shipment. The tests were contradictory and as a result inconclusive about whether the GM event was actually present or whether the tests were showing false positives (a common occurrence with PCR testing).

g.. The absence of conclusive evidence meant officials were not prepared to jeopardise the sweet corn and maize season.

h.. The question of Biosecurity policy for the future is still under consideration by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests who have only recently (in the last two weeks) concluded a consultation process on the border control issues pertaining to imports of seeds which may contain accidental GM content.

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