Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Contamination register third report published

A review of the incidents of 2006 and an overview of 10 years of maize contamination.

GM Contamination Register Report 2007, by GeneWatch UK and Greenpeace International and, 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 maize, but also included soy, cotton, canola, papaya and fish. Over the past 10 years, the annual Register Report has recorded 216 contamination events in 57 countries..

The 2007 incidents of contamination and illegal release involved cotton (one), fish (four), maize (nine), oilseed rape (two), papaya (one), rice (twenty) and soybean (two). A big change in the data for 2007 shows that 25% of incidents over the past ten years have been in rice, despite the fact there is no commercial cultivation of GM rice anywhere in the world. These cases have been caused by three varieties of herbicide tolerant rice developed by Bayer Crop Science – LLRICE62, LLRICE601 and LLRICE604 – and Bt63 rice from China. None of these illegal releases initially came to light in 2007; Bt63 was first discovered in 2005 and Bayer’s LLRICE varieties in 2006. Yet they continue to cause major problems for a rice industry which has rejected genetic modification.

GeneWatch UK and Greenpeace again consider that these findings require that governments:
  • require event-specific detection methods for GMOs as a prerequisite for field trials in addition to commercialisation. The detection methods and associated reference materials should be made publicly available to facilitate identification in case of GMO escape.
  • urgently enforce international standards for the identification and documentation of transboundary shipments of GMOs.
  • ensure that the public interest outweighs commercial confidentiality issues.
  • target imports of food, feed and seed from high-risk, GM-growing countries for routine tests for GM contamination and subsequent investigation.
  • deny to companies their right to commercialise GM products if the companies are involved in intentional illegal releases of GMOs or fail to cooperate in their prevention and management.
  • act firmly against violators when an illegal act takes place. Without substantial and predictable sanctions, sloppy practice and complacency are likely to be encouraged.
  • oblige companies to keep records of the global dissemination of their products and GMO events, and make these publicly available, as a matter of product stewardship. stop all approvals and releases of GM organisms under present conditions.
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To read the report and its recommendations click on the report title below:
GM Contamination Register Report 2007 Annual review of cases of contamination, illegal planting and negative side effects of genetically modified organisms

Below is a map which shows the incidents on the register to the end of 2007. Click on the image to view the map at full size.

world incidents map

Source © 2007 GeneWatch UK / Greenpeace International Original base map © mapsinminutes™ 2006.

For a high resolution copy of the map please contact info@gmcontaminationregister.org

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