Clarkie’s Corn Cover Up
Auckland, 20 July: Giant “Clarkies Corn Cover up” cans greeted Helen Clark on her campaign trail in Auckland today. The giant “Clarkies” cans, and a can-to-Parliament campaign launched by Greenpeace aim to demand Government accountability over the GE corn fiasco.
“Greenpeace has analysed the information in Seeds of Distrust and in the papers released by the Government. There is no doubt the corn was GE contaminated. The Government covered it up at the time and is continuing the cover up now,” said Annette Cotter, GE campaigner for Greenpeace.
“The scientific report to the Government at the time confirmed that there was “less than 0.5 per cent GM contamination”11 Evaluation of Information Received for Novartis Jubilee Sweetcorn Lot NC9114, Donald Hannah, Manager, Science and Research, 5th December 2000. not that there was no contamination. If there were any questions over the science at the time why weren’t further tests conducted?
“The Government covered up the incident by creating a threshold to allow contamination, confusing the science and using a public relations spin to avoid scrutiny.
“What is even worse is that the Government is continuing the corn cover up now. They continue to deny GE contamination despite the evidence that shows they knew about it at the time. The public relations ‘spin’ over the last week perpetuates the confusion. Additionally, not all the tests that recorded positive for GE contamination are available for public scrutiny.
“Government and ERMA’s22 Environmental Risk Management Authority handling of the corn crisis was incompetent. Critical information was kept from the public and the rules changed to allow the contamination to remain, pollinate and be assimilated into the food chain.”
The corn can-to-Parliament campaign encourages people to send their questionable can of corn to Parliament and ask for a replacement. The corn can wrapper asks the Government to confirm a zero tolerance for all seed imports; that the farm sites be investigated and decontaminated; and that GE releases be banned. The wrapper can be downloaded from the Greenpeace website at www.greenpeace.org.nz/coverup
“This season’s corn seed imports begin in four weeks, so we must act now. The regulatory bodies have proven they cannot do the task assigned to them. The corn fiasco highlights the necessity for the Government to maintain the moratorium and halt all GE field trials,” Cotter concluded.
Contact: Annette Cotter 021 565 175 Vanessa Atkinson 025 927 301