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Biosafety: US terminates biosafety

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US terminates biosafety

Cartagena, Colombia, February 22, 1999 --- Greenpeace today condemned
the destructive effort by the US to terminate the Cartagena Biosafety
negotiations and called other counties to continue the process without
the US. Early Monday morning US refused every compromise put forward
by other countries and the meeting dissolved without agreeing on a
negotiation text for the Conference of Extraordinary Parties scheduled
to start later on Monday.

"The US has terminated Biosafety Protocol," said Greenpeace political
advisor Louise Gale. "It seems that the US is willing in cold blood to
threaten the biodiversity in the name of short-term profit interest.
The US wants a Biotrade not Biosafety Protocol." 

According to Greenpeace the countries other than the US led Miami
Group must continue the negotiations without the US. "A group of six
countries managed to block the effort of the rest of the world 170 to
reach an agreement. The vast majority of the countries here want the
Protocol and EU and the G77 countries must continue and make sure that
the last two and half years have not been wasted. The US, which is not
even a party of these negotiations since it has not ratified the Rio
convention, came here only with one task to torpedo the negotiations."

The Miami group consists of the main grain exporters, the US, Canada,
Australia, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay.  

More information:
Louise Gale, Greenpeace International political advisor in Cartagena,
+57.3.752 85 53 
Mika Railo, Greenpeace International press officer in
Cartagena, +57.3.752 77 00 
Holger Roenitz, Greenpeace International
press desk in Amsterdam, +31.20.5249 545

Thomas Schweiger
EU GMO Advisor
Greenpeace International European Unit
37, Rue de la Tourelle
B-1040 Brussels
Tel: +32-2-280 14 00
Fax: +32-2-230 84 13
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