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Source seed from GE-Free countries - Greens


8 August 2002

Source seed from GE-Free countries - Greens

Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons today said New Zealand should stop importing sweet corn and maize seed from the United States and instead source seed from countries which had not planted GE crops.

This evening MAF announced that commercial maize crops grown in Gisborne and Pukekohe have tested positive for genetic modification.

"This seed was imported from the US which has high levels of genetically engineered crops and makes little effort to keep them separate," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"The Greens would like to see New Zealand stop importing sweet corn and maize seed from the US and to start sourcing these seeds from countries without GE crops which can guarantee the integrity of their seed."

Ms Fitzsimons said there are other countries which do not have GE maize from which we could have imported this seed.

"To source seed from these nations and to reject the potentially contaminated seed from nations like the US would be the best first step we could take to protect our agriculture from contamination and to protect our GE-Free status and our international markets.

"However, if Labour is able to proceed with its proposal to allow the release of 100 per cent GE crops, then incidents like this will pale into insignificance.

"That is why the Greens cannot express confidence in the current government," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"But it is not too late for Labour to think again."

Ms Fitzsimons said she was pleased the Government had briefed the Greens about this incident, that none of the seed from the original maize crop had so far been re-planted and that no maize had been consumed.

ENDS

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