Fitzsimons Suffers Memory Loss Over GM Maize
10 July 2002
Jeanette Fitzsimons appears to have forgotten that she sat through evidence on the alleged GM contamination of maize presented by Dr Oliver Sutherland, of the Environmental Risk Management Authority at the Royal Commission on GM, says Federated Farmers President Alistair Polson.
"The Green Party says it is distressed that the public wasn't told the full story about a crop of corn grown commercially in New Zealand, which was accidentally contaminated with genetically engineered seed, said Mr Polson. Ironically Ms Fitzsimons did not feel distressed enough to ask any questions during the Royal Commission hearings.
"There is no evidence that any GM contamination actually occurred. 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).
"The absence of conclusive evidence meant officials were not prepared to jeopardise the sweet corn and maize season. There is no evidence of contamination, maize prices in this country have not suffered and there is no evidence of any illness as a result of this incident.
"Conspiracy theories cloud the issues and do not make for an open, informed and constructive debate on Genetic Modification."