Following the discovery that some 1.8 tonnes of genetically
engineered (GE) corn have been imported into New Zealand, Greenpeace said that
all GE contaminated corn must be pulled up and destroyed.
Alarm was expressed by Greenpeace Executive Director, Bunny McDiarmid, that
one option being considered by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF)
was allowing farmers to continue growing the corn and then to export it.
"Allowing the corn to grow and be harvested would be total madness,"
said Bunny McDiarmid. "This could result in the contamination of naturally bred
non-GE corn in the region. Corn must be pollinated in order for kernels to form,
and wind carries corn pollen for kilometres. This means that cross contamination
would be certain. We already know from the experience of Mexico that GE
contamination in corn is a reality and the costs to exports have been in the
hundreds of millions of dollars." The environmental contamination would impact
the GE-free status New Zealand carries, which in turn would impact their export
"All contaminated corn must be pulled up and safely destroyed, so as to
eliminate any material that could reproduce," said Bunny McDiarmid. "The breach
in our border protocols must be fixed immediately and the farmers compensated
for the loss of their crop."
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