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Thailand bans the release of all GE crops

Bangkok/New Zealand, 9th April 2001 - Thailand's declaration as Genetically Engineered (GE) free is a first in the Asian region.

Late last week, Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra authorised the Agriculture Ministry on Friday to immediately halt any new approvals for GE field trials, which follows on from Thailand's ban on all commercial growing GE of crops.

Ecologist and executive director of Greenpeace South East Asia, Dr Jiragorn Gajaseni, says “Thailand’s biodiversity is unique and precious. It is our culture our food and our future.

"This action will protect our food and fields from the dangers of genetic engineering and encourages other governments to follow,”

Thailand can now avoid the environmental and economic problems already being experienced by those countries that have adopted GE crops, says Greenpeace, GE campaigner, Annette Cotter.

In Canada GE canola is developing into a major weed problem, which requires the use of conventional toxic herbicides for removal. In the United States over a billion dollars have been spent trying to recall a genetically engineered potentially allergenic Starlink corn, which contaminated 430 million bushels of harvest.

Ms Cotter says, New Zealand should follow Thailand and reject GE being released into the environment.

For more information: In Thailand: Auaiporn Suthonthanyakorn, Greenpeace Genetic Engineering Campaigner, Thailand, Mob: +6618207006; Isabelle Meister, Greenpeace International GE campaigner, Mob: +41793184455 Greenpeace International Press Office, Teresa Merilainen, Tel: 31205236637 Greenpeace New Zealand GE campaigner, Annette Cotter, Mob: 025 648 8636

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