1.More possibly GM contaminated corn identified
2.GM corn widespread

1.More possibly GM contaminated corn identified
Radio New Zealand, 5 December 2006

Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton has told Parliament an extra 2.5 tonnes of possibly GM contaminated corn seed has been identified in the latest importation scare.

That makes almost 4.5 tonnes of seed being investigated for contamination.

Mr Anderton says Biosecurity New Zealand has now checked import records for the past year.

"This includes an additional 2,600kg of possible contaminated seed identified following further tracing in the past day," he said. "Thus far MAF's investigation has identified that possibly two thirds of the corn seed from these batches has been planted."

The Green Party says all the seed and plants currently in the ground must be destroyed.

Earlier criticism

Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson Peter Thompson said originally a staff error led to almost two tonnes of GM corn breaching the border in October. He said most of that corn had been planted, and it must be destroyed.

First news of the accident prompted GE Free New Zealand and the Soil and Health Association to reiterate their call for a ban on all corn and maize seeds, until it can be assured they are GM-free.

And Horticulture New Zealand said earlier the quality of the country's border control systems has fallen if almost two tonnes of genetically modified sweet corn can pass though it.

The Sustainability Council says better testing of seeds would have prevented the accidental importation of the genetically modified sweet corn.

The council says more demanding testing at the border would mean that even if the paperwork was incorrectly read, there would be a better chance of finding the contamination.

It says it is likely taxpayers will have to foot the bill for the compensation required by farmers whose crops are destroyed.

2.GM corn widespread
NewsTalk, 5 December 2006

It has been revealed the genetically modified corn biosecurity breach is bigger than first thought.

Last week MAF was looking into how 1800 kilograms of GM-contaminated corn was incorrectly cleared into the country in October.

Biosecurity Minister Jim Anderton says an estimated amount of 4420 kilos of contaminated corn is now being investigated. He says an additional 2600 kilograms has been identified by MAF following further tracing in the past day.

Mr Anderton says approximately two thirds of the seed has been planted in Hawke's Bay, Gisborne, Blenheim and Ashburton.