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GE Polluters must be held liable

GE Free New Zealand
www.gefree.org.nz

GE Free NZ Press Release 12 May 2004

GE Polluters must be held liable

The company whose patented genes have contaminated imported maize seed should be held liable for the costs of the clean up and any loss of sales as a result of the incident.

The contamination shows the need for improved testing regimes and for importation of seeds to be redirected to countries where GE maize is not commercialised, to further reduce the risk of contamination.

The claims of safety, for the "low level" of GE maize that may have actually planted and grown, are also under serious doubt. In recent weeks the UK-based Independent Science Panel has revealed major flaws in the scientific tests used to gain approval of GE foods internationally.

They have called for all already-approved GE foods to be withdrawn and immediately subjected to proper testing, their concerns have been backed by former UK Environment Minister Michael Meacher.

" The company owning Liberty Link T25 must be held financially liable, but New Zealand laws leave a gaping hole that is likely to see the public purse paying for the damage," says Jon Carapiet from GE Free NZ in food and environment.

"Claims of safety for human consumption are also wrong when FSANZ (formerly ANZFA) have actually done no testing of the GE food. Authorities have accepted flawed tests supplied by the manufacturer themselves," says Mr Carapiet.

Urgent action is needed to destroy contaminated seed and MAF must pursue the biotech company for compensation. The Minister of Health should take action to review the flawed approvals of untested GE products already on the market.

ENDS
Jon Carapiet 09 815 3370

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3565893
Harvest fears as MAF starts search for lost GM seed

12.05.2004
By ANNE BESTON environment reporter

Thousands of genetically modified maize plants may have been harvested in
the country's biggest accidental release of GM-contaminated seed.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has seized hundreds of bags of
maize seed and is searching for missing bags from a consignment containing
genetically modified seeds.

The ministry said yesterday that some of the seed could already have been
harvested.

ENDS

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