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New MAF Testing Of Imported Seed

Friday 2 August 2002.

New MAF Testing Of Imported Seed

Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics welcomes cautiously the new testing regime proposed by MAF for imported sweet corn, maize, canola and soybean seed.

With widespread difficulties overseas from transgenic contamination of conventional crops, this move by MAF should go some way to protect our current GE free status. These grains make a substantial contribution to New Zealand agriculture.

Despite New Zealand's restrictions and controls, our agriculture-based economy needs all the protection it can get. In 2000, the European Union found it had planted over 6 000 hectares with canola seed contaminated by unspecified transgenic traits. In the USA, the well-reported StarLink corn variety, not approved for human consumption, contaminated corn used in human food products.

Contamination of conventional crops in New Zealand could be catastrophic for our export industry with our Asian and European markets demanding GE free grains. Buying seed from countries that do not grow transgenic crops could overcome this difficulty for our agricultural industry.

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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