Following Greenpeace Protest, Ship Turns Back to United States

Media release - September 13, 2003
The first attempt to undermine the Biosafety Protocol (an international law which came into force yesterday allowing countries to reject GMOs) appeared to have failed today as the captain of a ship carrying GE contaminated U.S. corn bound for the Mexican port of Veracruz, turned back to the United States after a 13-hour Greenpeace protest.

Climbers from Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Australia from the Greenpeace ship MV Arctic Sunrise, sustained a daylong protest on the anchor chain of the Alta Mira, which contained a 40,000 ton shipment of U.S. genetically contaminated corn destined for the port of Veracruz, the largest port in Mexico.

The Captain of the Alta Mira said: "I have received instructions to leave the Veracruz anchorage and proceed back to the U.S."

"Clearly, the captain and whoever instructed him to turn the ship around made a very profound and worthwhile decision," said Doreen Stabinsky, Greenpeace USA campaigner on board the Greenpeace ship. "Greenpeace today enforced the Biosafety Protocol by turning back this ship. From now on, it is the Mexican government's responsibility to return every single shipment containing GE contaminated corn from entering this country."

"While the WTO meets in Cancun and tries to use trade rules to override international environmental agreements, every day that GE contaminated corn stays out of Mexico is a good one," said Stabinsky.

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