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Testing of Imported Seed


Testing of Imported Seed

Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics commend MAF for incinerating imported seed contaminated with genetically engineered organisms (GEOs).

Contamination has also been found in seed sown in GE trials in Britain over the last three years. The antibiotic resistance genes went undetected by government inspectors. Reports say officials admit to making "paper inspections" which really meant regulators had simply accepted the word of Aventis, the seed company responsible, and that there has been a serious breach of regulations. The entire crop, near to harvesting, will be destroyed.

The results of such contamination in New Zealand - whether from field trials or commercial releases - could be disastrous for the NZ seed growing industry. In addition little testing on the possible implications of soil contamination has been carried out.

New Zealand must instigate the tightest possible regulatory control to protect its environment.

(145 words)

Press Release from Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics - PSRG; Sunday 18 August 2002.

Enquiries to roberta@clear.net.nz or 64 7 576 5721. Spokespersons: John Clearwater PhD on 09 828 3339 or 025 224 8955; Dr Paul Butler on 09 445 9054.

ENDS


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