Rainbow Warrior captain arrested

Despite the arrest Greenpeace's campaign against GE soya didn't slow down

Feature story - 27 April, 2004
It took eight hours, a powerful tugboat and the specialist division of the water police to end the Rainbow Warrior's blockade of the The Rhein, a ship transporting Genetically Engineered (GE) soya in Port Kembla Harbour. Despite the arrest of the Warrior's captain, our campaign against GE soya didn't slow down.

Police arresting the skipper of the Rainbow Warrior

At 11pm, Monday April 26th police boarded the Rainbow Warrior and arrested its captain, Derek Nicholls of New Zealand. He was charged with failing to comply with directions by the harbour master and with entering a pilotage port without taking on a pilot. He has been bailed to appear in Port Kembla local court in June.

However, less than five hours later Greenpeace Australia's activists were back on the job, branding the office tower of Inghams national headquarters in western Sydney with the message "YUK GM feed!" next to the company logo.

The chicken industry is Australia's biggest user of GE soya and Inghams is the country's leading poultry supplier. Its poultry is marketed nationally under the Inghams, Woolworths, and Safeway home brand labels without any mention of the fact that the chickens are raised on GE feed.

Tina Meckel, our GE campaigner in Australia said that Greenpeace is sending a clear message to Inghams and the rest of the Australian poultry industry that the company could no longer sneak GE crops into our food chain.

"Survey after survey shows that the vast majority of Australians are saying a clear 'NO' to genetically engineered foods," said Meckel. "It's time that Inghams listened to their customers instead of involving us in a genetic experiment without our knowledge or consent."

Tracking the Rhein

Yesterday's action follows on from last week when our team in Australia painted the hull of the Rhein in Brisbane with the demand to 'Stop GE Imports'.

"Imported soya is the largest source of GE contamination of the Australian food chain," said John Hepburn, our GE campaign co-ordinator in Australia. "In Brisbane last week this shipment was exposed as part of the unlabelled GE trade that sneaks into Australia each year. Now we are taking action with the Rainbow Warrior to stop this shipment from travelling to Melbourne to be unloaded."

"The poultry industry is the backbone of the trade in genetically engineered soya in Australia and Inghams are the single largest user of GE. We're sending a clear message to them and the rest of the Australian poultry industry that the public will not tolerate unlabelled GE in our food."

He added: "Most Australians would be shocked to know that their Sunday roast and barbeque chickens have been fed GE. We will continue to take action around the world to keep GE out of our food and our fields."

We will continue to take action to highlight Inghams use of GE feed until the company joins the many other Australian food companies that have responded to environmental and community concerns by halting the use of GE food and feed.

Greenpeace in global GE blitz

Elsewhere, we have launched global oppostion to GE products by land, sea, and supermarket:

China: April 26th, Seventy-eight food brands announced they are now officially committed to not selling genetically engineered (GE) food in China over the week end. These non-GE brands are listed in the Shoppers' Guide to Avoiding GE Food , which was launched by Greenpeace on Sunday. The announcement marks increasing market rejection of GE food in the world's largest food market.Consumer Power

Luxemberg, European Union: April 26th, Although 20 Greenpeace activists presented EU Agriculture Ministers in Luxembourg with the clear message that: "Europe says No to GMOs" the EU Agriculture Council decided not to block the approval of genetically engineered sweet corn Bt-11 maize imports for human consumption.

Paranagua, Brazil:

April 26th, News from local activities, including educating chinese sailors about the dangers of GE from Kishi our onboard webeditor.