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A scientific approach is needed for GM corn

A scientific approach is needed for GM corn

“MAF should identify if GM is present, the type of GM construct and undertake a risk assessment before ripping up imported corn suspected of containing genetically modified seeds.” the chairman of the Life Sciences Network, Dr William Rolleston, said today.

A consignment of corn, which tested negative to the presence of genetic modification was released into New Zealand in October and it is thought that much of the seed has now been planted. Subsequent review of the documentation showed that one of the parent lines had tested positive for GM.

“There has been no positive test for GM in these consignments so any GM presence will be at an extremely low level. It is therefore highly unlikely GM plants will establish in New Zealand as a result of growing this crop to harvest.

“In addition the money spent on destroying these crops and compensating the farmers will have been wasted if it turns out the GM construct is one which is approved for human and animal consumption. This is money which is needed for real threats such as Foot and Mouth or Mad Cow Disease.

“GM crops were grown in New Zealand in the 1990s and MAF have allowed other GM importations to grow to harvest. They should apply the same scientific rationale in this case” concluded Dr Rolleston.

Life Sciences Network, 2 Dec 2006

ENDS

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