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US dumping GE corn-soya mix on cyclone victims

PRESS RELEASE

Date: 2nd June 2000

US Government dumping genetically engineered corn-soya mix on victims of Orissa super - cyclone

The Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology (RFSTE) in India, has just received the results of genetic identification tests of the corn - soya blend being distributed by the US government in Orissa as food aid after the Orissa super cyclone. The samples were collected by the RFSTE team during our relief work in Orissa after the super cyclone. The RFSTE has been involved in ecological studies and biodiversity regeneration in the cyclone devasted coastal regions of Orissa. The tests - which were carried out by US based Genetic I.D. - the world's leading laboratory on testing for GE products - prove that the US has been using the Orissa victims as guinea pigs for GE products which have been rejected by consumers in the North, especially Europe.

Of the $7.5 million given by the US as relief for Orissa 4.15 million was for food aid. The Genetic I.D. tests reveal that the US government is using public funds meant for aid to create profits and markets for the biotech industry whose food products no one wants in Europe.

We demand that the US government stop using money meant for relief to the poor for subsidising the Biotech industry and helping it to use emergencies to create market access and market entry for GE products. We also call on the Government of India and Government of Orissa to immediately withdraw the corn - soya blend from distribution in Orissa and introduce mandatory segregation and labeling of all food imports for Presence of GE constituents. Such labeling is now an international obligation under the Biosafety Protocol. Indian citizens cannot be unwillingly used as guinea pigs in this experiment with GE foods.

The right to know what is in our food is our democratic right. Labeling is necessary to protect citizen's right to know and right to information.

Diverse Women for Diversity A-60 Hauz Khas New Delhi 110 016 India Tel:91 11 656 1868 Fax:91 11 656 2093 E-mail:divwomen@ndf.vsnl.net.in

www.vshiva.org

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