ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network
Date:  4 March 2001


1. Greens vow to fight for a GE-free Tasmania
2. Tasmania's GM dispute grows
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1.    Greens vow to fight for a GE-free Tasmania - Media Release - 4 March 2001

The Tasmanian Greens Party have unanimously passed a strong condemnatory motion over the GE crops fiasco at their State Conference held at Liffey on Saturday, and vowed to continue the fight for a GE-Free future.

Greens Party Convenor, Ms Jo Hall, released the motion which calls for:-

*The sacking of Minister Llewellyn
*A judicial inquiry into the GE crop trials
*Immediate public identification of all past and present crop trial sites
*A commitment from Monsanto, Aventis and ServAg to pay clean up costs, and
*An immediate and permanent ban on all GE crops.

“The Greens party members are adamant that we will not abandon the goal of a GE-Free Tasmania and vowed to fight hard for a genuine clean, green, GE-free future,” Ms Hall said.

“There was considerable anger that in the context of a supposed moratorium on GE crops the Minister could have been so out of touch and have failed to take steps to restrain the activities of Monsanto, Aventis and ServAg.”

“It is imperative that we urgently begin the clean up of any potential GE contamination, so public identification of all the GE crop trial sites is the first step towards this.”

“Tasmania must not leave the clean up to the same Commonwealth authorities whose lax standards caused the problems in the first place, nor solely rely upon the ‘goodwill’ of the companies involved.”

“The Greens members are united in our call for an immediate and permanent ban on all GE crops in Tasmania,” Ms Hall said.
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2. Tasmania's GM dispute grows
ABC, 1 March

The row over genetically modified crop trials in Tasmania has widened.

The multinational crop company, Monsanto, has admitted to breaching Federal guidelines for conducting gene technology trials.  The Interim Office of the Gene Technology Regulator has found Monsanto and another company, Aventis, did not carry out adequate clean up procedures at 11 Tasmanian sites used for trials of genetically engineered canola.

The findings have outraged the Tasmanian Government, which is investigating if there are any grounds for prosecution under state quarantine laws.

The State Environment Minister is standing by his claim his department had no information about how many trials there were in Tasmania or where they were being held.

However, the Interim Office of the Gene Technology Regulator says David Llewellyn's department was given all information relevant to the trials before they were approved.

The head regulator, Elizabeth Cain, says a departmental official last week was given a map showing where the trials were but Mr Llewellyn says they were not aware of the sites before this week.

"Because of this secrecy and confidentiality issue of where the sites would be... no one's been aware of that, it's been something between the Commonwealth and the companies," he said.
"They just indicate which local government areas that the trials have been given."


Spokesman for Monsanto, Brian Arnst, says regrowth of trialled canola plants was found at two of the company's sites during a federal government check. He says Monsanto has been quick to fix the problem.

"These plants have subsequently been destroyed and the remedial monitoring as suggested by the office of the GTR, we have adopted that obviously straight away," he said.


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