Register of GM Contamination

Media release from Greenpeace

First on-line worldwide register of GM
contamination incidents launched today

Montreal/London (UK), June 1, 2005 – GeneWatch UK and Greenpeace
International launched the first on-line register of genetically
engineered (GE) contamination incidents today
( The searchable web site gives
details of all the known cases of GE contamination of food, animal
feed, seeds and wild plants that have taken place worldwide.

“No Government or international agency has yet established a public
record of contamination incidents or of other problems associated
with GE crops. Turning a blind eye is not good enough when dealing
with GE technology because it involves the uncontrolled release of
living organisms into the environment,” said Dr. Sue Mayer, GeneWatch
UK’s Director. “We hope this register will form an important resource
for citizens and regulators in the future.”

Since their introduction in 1996, GE crops have contaminated our
food, animal feed and seeds across the globe. 62 incidents of illegal
or unlabelled GE contamination have been documented in 27 countries
on five continents, and those are only the recorded incidents. The
register also gives links to more information about the incidents and
associated agricultural problems that arise from them.

“This register is being launched at the moment when governments are
meeting in Montreal to decide on international liability regulations
for GE crops. The sheer number of contamination incidents collected
in the register to date makes it clear that unless states take action
to set strict rules now, GE crop contamination will further spiral
out of control,” said Doreen Stabinsky, GE campaigner for Greenpeace

“As the recent case of Canadian GE canola contamination in Japan
illustrates there is a need for governments to take immediate
action,” said Eric Darier, GE campaigner for Greenpeace Canada. “Not
only has Canada not ratified the Biosafety Protocol but in addition
its exports are contaminating the Japanese environment. This new tool
will allow Canadians to see the damage that our unchecked GE exports
are doing around the world.”

Highlights from the register:
” 27 countries have experienced a total of 62 cases of GM
contamination of food, animal feed, seeds or wild plants.
” The largest number of contamination incidents have taken place in
the USA (11 incidents).
” Contamination from ‘Starlink’ maize was found in seven countries:
USA; Canada; Egypt; Bolivia; Nicaragua; Japan; and South Korea.
” Illegal releases of GM crops into the environment or food chain
have taken place in India (cotton), Brazil (cotton and soya), China
(rice), Croatia (maize), Europe, Germany (papaya) and Thailand
(cotton and papaya).
” Six cases of negative agricultural side-effects have been recorded
including deformed cotton bolls and the emergence of herbicide
tolerant ‘super-weeds’.

For more information:
Dr. Sue Mayer, GeneWatch UK +44 1298 871898
Doreen Stabinsky, Greenpeace International +1 202 285 7398
Éric Darier, Greenpeace Canada GE campaigner, Cell: (514) 605 6497
Andrew Male, Greenpeace Canada Communications Coordinator, Cell:
(416) 880-2757

Éric Darier – Greenpeace
Responsable de la campagne OGM
454, ave. Laurier Est, 3e étage
Montreal H2J 1E7
Quebec (Canada)
Tél. : +1 514 933-0021 ext. 15
Cell. : +1 514 605-6497

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