NZ growers say GE ban is unworkable
The Soil and Health Association in New Zealand wants soy, alfafa, corn
and maize seed imported from the United States and other genetically engineered
(GE) producers stopped.
It says in the past month US courts and independent scientific peer reviews
have found flaws in previously accepted data from the US Department of
Agriculture and the multi-national biotech and seed company Monsanto. The flaws
include environmental and human health
Colin MacKinnon, from Federated
Farmers maize growers committee, says maize growers in particular would go
bankrupt without certain strict GE-free contracts with countries such as Japan
but any ban on seed imports from GE producing countries would weaken New
Zealand's competitive edge.
Soil and Health spokesman Steffan Browning
says New Zealand can no longer rely on food safety appraisals from countries
where GE crops are grown. He says an outright ban on seed imports is the only
way of countering the risk of contamination.
Mr Browning says with
regular incursions of GE-contaminated seed New Zealand is risking its GE-free
marketing advantage. He says the development of more markets that are keen for
GE-free products would more than compensate for the loss of overseas seed
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