A new report by Greenpeace and GM Watch UK documents 216 cases of out of control genetically engineered, plants, animals, and food since the first commercial introduction of GE in 1996. GM Contamination Register, 2007 confirms what Greenpeace, along with many leading scientists and medical experts have long warned. The threat of contamination caused by genetic engineering is inevitable once you release dangerous, experimental crops into the environment.
Philippine and Dutch activists were first on board demonstrating their opposition to GE contamination in their countries. See pictures of the Dutch action below.
In one of the most troubling cases, consumers in 29 countries around the world were exposed to an untested and unauthorized variety of genetically engineered rice. Canadians only found out about the contamination after Greenpeace conducted independent tests on rice imports, demonstrating a lack of leadership and a disregard for food safety from the Canadian government. Canadians have their chance to demonstrate their opposition to GE on March 11. Greenpeace and their allies, including GE Free BC have declared March 11 GE Free Day. To find out more about activities planned for March 11, go to www.greenpeace.org/cropcircle/
Report documents growing evidence of GE contamination of traditional crops
Contaminated rice in Vancouver stores among incidents cited in new report 28 February 2008 (Vancouver) – An international report on GE crop contamination has shown multinational companies such as Bayer and Monsanto are turning a blind eye to cases of GE contamination on a global scale, and British Columbians are paying the price with their health. Greenpeace International and GeneWatch UK issued the report today, entitled GM Contamination Register Report 2007, which documents 10 incidents of GE contamination in Canada. These include an illegal variety of GE rice discovered by Greenpeace in supermarkets in both Vancouver and Montreal. The report also exposes 39 new instances of crop contamination in 23 countries over the past year. Most of the contamination involved such staple crops as rice and corn, but also included soy, cotton, canola, papaya and fish. Over the past 10 years, the GM Contamination Register (www.gmcontaminationregister.org) has recorded 216 incidents of contamination in 57 countries. “Here in Canada, there is very little government testing for unauthorized and unwanted contamination, as we saw last year when consumers had to wait for independent testing by Greenpeace to find out they had been exposed to a variety of illegally genetically engineered rice,” said Greenpeace Agriculture Campaigner Josh Brandon. The release of this report falls on the eve of an international convention in Cartagena, Columbia, being held from 12-19 March, where governments will continue to assess liability for damages caused by GE organisms. In B.C., the release of the report comes just days ahead of a province-wide “GE Free Day” planned by Greenpeace on 11 March. “Canadians need safeguards to protect themselves. At a minimum, we need better monitoring of imports, mandatory labelling for genetically engineered foods currently in the food system and strict liability for the biotechnology companies that cause the contamination,” said Brandon. “Tracking contamination as this report does is a first step; our ultimate goal needs to be the complete abolition of GE elements in our food system and in our environment.” -30-
For more information, please contact: Josh Brandon, Agricultural Campaigner, Greenpeace. 604-721-7493
Jessica Wilson, Media and Public Relations Officer, Greenpeace 778-228-5404