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GM Contamination a threat to Regulation

GE Free New Zealand
In Food And Environment Inc.
www.gefree.org.nz

GE Free New Zealand PRESS RELEASE –19.1.04

GM Contamination a threat to Regulation- NZ needs to back EU

GM Contamination in two major crops is threatening to make regulation of GM crops impossible but New Zealand is opposing better regulation despite the alarm amongst officials around the world.

New rules developed in the EU set standards that try to prevent further contamination and New Zealand must adopt similar quality control measures.

However, despite their claims the New Zealand government is actually fighting proper international regulation of GM crops and is instead backing the US at the WTO aimed at undermining regulation.
Maize, soy, and canola have become a problem internationally as contamination of conventional and organic crops has resulted.

Despite a slowdown in the growth rate for GE crops in the US as markets have closed to such products, the acreage of GE corn and soy crops being planted in USA has already reached 60 %. Many US farmers are believed have chosen to go into other types of crops to secure GE-free status and meet the needs of the global market.

However, it is not just contamination that is presenting problems for regulation that needs to be addressed internationally. The issues have prompted many scientists and government advisors to back a global moratorium on sale of new crops like GE wheat.

There has been a documented rise in food allergies by 70%. There is proof of pesticide overuse and also price fixing allegations by some of the big GE companies. There is the failure of GE Cotton crops in India and the looming trade war over stringent EU laws passed on sourcing and labelling.

The concern about uncontrollable GE contamination is voiced by the comment from trade and biotech counsellor, for the USDA David Hegwood, who said that compliance with the regulations may be impossible.

Pharmaceutical crops have been developed and already caused contamination highlighting a requirement for systems of complete separation is paramount.

"What's not clear about this regulation is whether it's going to require exporters to identify the specific (biotech traits) in a corn shipment," Hegwood said. "We've got no way of knowing. We don't know how we're going to deal with that," said Mr Hegwood.
The American food associations are also considering a second appeal on the new EU laws.

"New Zealand should be joining with the EU in maintaining and improving regulatory standards not joining with the US to help weaken them," says Ms. Bleakley.

GE Free (NZ) in food and environment asks that the Government adopt similarly stringent standards on traceability and labelling in line with our biggest trading partners Japan and the EU.

The New Zealand government has a responsibility to protect GE Free production for New Zealand and other countries through international regulation.

ENDS
Contact
Claire Bleakley (06) 3089842
Jon Carapiet 09 815 3370


http://www.cropdecisions.com/show_story.php?id=23135

U.S. Expects New EU Biotech Laws To Further Dampen Ag Trade
Jan. 16, 2004

As the European Union prepares to launch new laws in April to label and
track all genetically modified food, U.S. farmers and government
officials are warning they may turn out to be stronger trade barriers than the
biotech approval ban they are intended to replace.

Only nine biotech agriculture commodity varieties had been cleared for
consumption by the EU when it shut down the approval process in 1998.
That, according to U.S. Trade Representative Robert Zoellick, has cost U.S.
exporters "a few hundred million dollars...a year" in corn sales alone.

The U.S., in comparison, has approved more than 50, according to the
Biotechnology Industry Organization.
The EU has promised the U.S. for years it would lift its ban on new
biotech crops so long as labeling and record-keeping regulations could be
implemented.

MORE...
http://www.cropdecisions.com/show_story.php?id=23135

Source: OsterDowJones Commodity News
http://www.gmwatch.org/sub.asp

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