GREENPEACE BLOCK FRENCH GE IMPORTS AS BIOSAFETY PROTOCOL MEETING BEGINS
Greenpeace prevents unloading of GE soya shipment from the US
Paris, 11th December, 2000 - Greenpeace today protested successfully
against the unloading of 20,000 tonnes of genetically engineered (GE) soybeans
from the bulk carrier Polydefkis P. at the port of Bassens, in Bordeaux,
France demanding the United States respect the clear choice of
Europeans for a GE-free food chain.
As a result of the action, which prevented the bulk carrier from entering
the docks for more than an
hour, the port authority gave a public commitment not to unload GE soybeans.
The load originated from New Orleans and was likely to be used for animal feed and oil production in France at the facility of Cereol Trituration, a subsidiary of Eridania-Beghin-Say, one of the largest commodity processors and food producers in the world.
Greenpeace condemns the continuing US exports of grains to Europe as long as the delivered products are genetically contaminated.
"GE ingredients are routinely sneaked onto our dinner plates through animal products: Poultry, pork, fish and beef we eat may well have been fed with GE feed. Neither consumers nor farmers are able to reject GE products as long as there are no regulations in place to force the suppliers or producers to label GE ingredients in animal feed," said Arnaud Apoteker, Genetic Engineering Campaigner for Greenpeace.
In Europe, a large number of retailers and food producers have already
rejected animal products coming from animals fed with GE grains. This has
reduced but not stopped the flood of GE grains to Europe, mainly from the
United States. Hundreds of thousands of tonnes of GE-grains are still
being imported without labelling to Europe to be used in animal feed.
The world's main GE producers - the US, Canada and Argentina - are expected to obstruct any attempts to execute regulatory or safety measures related to trading and transporting of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) at the first intergovernmental meeting on implementation of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, opening today in Montpellier, France.
At present, the Biosafety Protocol has been signed by more than 70 countries,
but so far only two have ratified it. Greenpeace warned that the UN agreement
would be undermined if the GMO exporting countries - the so called Miami
group - are allowed block regulations on trade and
transport of GMOs. (1)
"It is clear that the GE grain producers are doing their best to protect
their trade and the commercial interest of genetic engineering industry.
But the international community should not allow a handful of countries
to sabotage the interests of a large majority of the public and the
environment," said Arnaud Apoteker.
For more information:
In Bordeaux: Arnaud Apoteker, Genetic Engineering Campaigner, Greenpeace France,
Tel: +33 60757 31 60;
Michael Loze, Press Officer, Greenpeace France, +33-6 86927749;
Zoe Civange, Press Officer, Greenpeace France, Tel: +33 6 72718033;
Greenpeace International: Lorenz Petersen, GE campaigner, Tel: +49 171
Teresa Merilainen, Media Officer, Tel: +31 625031001
More information on http://www.greenpeace.org
Pictures available from Greenpeace International Picture Desk, John
Footage available from Greenpeace France, Tel; +336 86927749 and +33 6 72718033.
Note to editors:
(1) Bulgaria and Trinidad & Tobago have ratified the Biosafety Protocol. The Miami group consists of the United States, Argentina, Canada, Chile, Australia and Uruguay.