Despite ban GMO corn gluten feed from US unloaded in Rotterdam harbour

Background - 18 April, 2005
Rotterdam - A shipment with 50000 tons of maize corn gluten from US which arrived at Rotterdam harbour on Sunday is being unloaded despite the vote last Friday of European Member states to implement an emergency measure to prevent illegal GMO maize corn products (Bt10) from entering the EU food market.

Following the decision Greenpeace conducted research to see when andwhere any future shipments of corn gluten feed from the US was due toarrive in the EU. It was discovered that there was a shipment due toarrive in the Netherlands on Sunday 17th April to Rotterdam.

Greenpeace has informed the Dutch authorities of the ships arrival andof its cargo. When approached by a Greenpeace spokesperson the crew ofthe vessel, "Victory C", confirmed that they do not have the documentsproving the absence of unauthorised Bt10 that is called for by the EUemergency measures.

From 8 am Monday morning the cargo from ship "Victory C" started to beunloaded to a smaller boat to transport the corn gluten feed to animalfeed storage warehouses near the harbour.

However the Dutch Government is so far not trying to stop the ship fromunloading. It has said that it will conduct some testings on theshipment but has given no other indication that it is taking action.

Last Friday the member states of the EU have decided that no more maizecorn from US is allowed to be placed on the market as long ascertification for absence of Bt 10, an unauthorised geneticallymodified maize, can not be proven.

Greenpeace is asking authorities to prevent the shipment from unloadingthe remains of it's unwanted cargo. If the material is unloaded aguarantee should be given by the Dutch government that the corn glutenfeed will not leave Rotterdam harbour until evidence that it is notcontaminated by Bt 10 has been given. If that can not be given thenthis illegal cargo should be returned to the US or be destroyed.

This looks like another proof that GMO regulation in Europe is notworking in practise. Today it is exactly one year since the newEuropean regulation for food and feed came into force requiring fulllabelling of GMOs. Since then a number of deficiencies have beenrevealed. There is lack of consumer protection due to insufficientregulation concerning coexistence, labelling of animal products andproper risk assessment.