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Sweet corn investigation update 1

Tuesday 5 December 2006


Sweet corn investigation update 1

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is confident it has located all of the sweet corn that was cleared at the border in October and November 2006, but later determined to present a risk of containing genetically modified (GM) material at extremely low levels. Following further investigation, an additional 2,620kg consignment of potentially GM-contaminated corn has been identified. This now brings the total quantity of concern to 4,420kg.

The varieties of sweet corn (Krispy King, Dominion/Jubilee Plus, and GH2042, an as-yet unnamed variety) were all sourced from Syngenta in the USA. The following table provides location details of each of these consignments.

Consignment / Seed supplier / Quantity imported / Quantity sown / Quantity remaining / Region / Ha planted / Number of properties
Krispy King / Syngenta / 1100.0 / 1060.0 / 40.0 / Mid-Canterbury / 108.5 / 5
Jubilee Plus/ Dominion / Syngenta / 700.0 / 600.0 / 100.0 / Hawke’s Bay / 111.0 / 3
Jubilee Plus/ Dominion / Syngenta / 2520.0 / 1307.5 / 1212.5 / Gisborne / 147.4 / 16
GH2042 / Syngenta / 100.0 / 100.0 / 0 / Gisborne / 6.4 / 1
Total / / 4420.0 / 3067.5 / 1352.5 / / 373.3 / 25

MAF’s objective is to ensure New Zealand’s GM-free status is maintained. MAF is continuing investigations to determine whether the seed contains any GM material. When this work is concluded decisions will be made as to the fate of the crops associated with each consignment.

MAF is concerned to ensure that its border inspection procedures are robust and has commenced a review of handling of these consignments and implications for its border procedures in this area.

MAF has also now reviewed all other sweet corn seed that was imported during 2006 and found no other discrepancies.


ENDS

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