Process Management

News last update:6 Aug 2012

GE corn finds its way to New Zealand

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 industry.

"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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