GENET archive


2-Plants: Italian court rejects company bid to save GM maize

genet-news mailing list

                                  PART I
-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Monsanto Italy chief defends GMOs found in crops as "accidental"
SOURCE: Agence France Presse, posted by checkbiotech/Syngenta
DATE:   Jul 16, 2003

------------------- archive: -------------------

Monsanto Italy chief defends GMOs found in crops as "accidental" 

Agence France Presse -- The head of Monsanto Italia insisted that the
contamination of hundreds of hectares of maize in the northern region of
Piedmont with genetically-modified seeds was accidental and within normal
industry tolerances.

"It's absolutely accidental," Jean-Michel Duhamel told members of Italy's
federation of chemical industries, Federchimica, who questioned him over
why bulk seed supplies to Piedmontese growers had included genetically
modified organisms (GMOs).

Duhamel heads the Italian subsidiary of the US agri-chemical giant
spearheading a worldwide drive to use GM crops, which are outlawed in
Italy outside certain tightly controlled research sites.

Authorities in Piedmont ordered farmers to destroy almost 381 hectares
(941 acres) of maize found to be contaminated with the biotech seeds
during a routine check at the weekend.

Duhamel said he viewed the destruction as "unfortunate", emphasising that
"a presence inferior to one percent of GM seeds in 'normal' seeds is
tolerated by law."

"In life and in nature absolute zero never exists," he added.

The decision was taken at the end of last week by the region's governor,
Enzo Ghigo, after a routine check turned up GM seeds on farms around
Cuneo and Alessandria.

However, around 40 Piedmontese farmers are expected to challenge the
order in local courts on Wednesday, according to the Confagricoltura
farmers union.

"If it can be demonstrated that these plants were not contaminated by
GMOs, the farmers will take a case against those who took the decision
without carrying out prior checks," said Confagricoltura chief Ercole Zuccaro.

Earlier this month, the European Parliament adopted strict new directives
requiring labelling of GMOs, opening the way to a removal of a GMO-import
moratorium, which has been in place since 1999.

                                  PART II
-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Italian court rejects company bid to save GM maize
SOURCE: Reuters
DATE:   Jul 17, 2003

------------------- archive: -------------------

Italian court rejects company bid to save GM maize

TURIN, July 17 (Reuters) - A court on Thursday rejected an attempt by the
Italian unit of Pioneer Hi-Bred, a subsidiary of Dupont Co (nyse: DD -
news - people), to halt an order to destroy maize thought to contain
genetic material, a local government source said.

"The order to destroy the maize remains in force following the decision
by the regional court in Turin in response to Pioneer's request for an
immediate suspension of the order," the source, who asked not to be
identified, told Reuters.

The reasons for the court decision were not immediately known.

Piedmont region in northwest Italy on Friday ordered the destruction
within five days of 381 hectares of maize fields thought to be
contaminated with gene-modified material. Most of the maize has since
been destroyed, environmentalists said.

The fields were sowed with Pioneer's seeds, but a company spokesman has
said internal tests before marketing showed no presence of genetically
modified organisms (GMOs), adding that the company markets only
conventional seeds in Italy.

Pioneer contested the Piedmont order on the grounds it had no scientific

Commercial sowing of GMO seeds is banned in Italy under a so-called "zero
tolerance" policy.

                                  PART III
-------------------------------- GENET-news -------------------------------

TITLE:  Italy: destruction of GMO contaminated corn
SOURCE: Press Release, sent by Crocevia, Itlay
DATE:   Jul 17, 2003

------------------- archive: -------------------

Italy: destruction of GMO contaminated corn

Italian Public Autority are cutting GE-corn while France State keep Bove
in jail because he did the same thing!

Since the 11th July, after provision of the regional government of
Piemonte, the Court and following the national rules of the Agricultural
Minister that don't allow any tolerance for GE-contamination of seeds,
it's already started the destruction of 381 hectars of corn cantaminated
with GMOs in Piemonte (one of the 4 bigger agricultural region of the

The public power intervened after a long action over the "zero tolerance"
for seeds contamination with GMOs during the last 3 years was made by VAS
and Greenpeace, environmental associations, Coldiretti, the major farmer
association of Europe (more than 1 million members) and other
organization like Crocevia, Aiab, Consumer Associations, LegaCoop for

Monsanto and Pioneer are responsible for the introduction of corn seeds
contaminated wih GMOs and so they are responsible for the damage and they
have to give compensation to the farmers that, on the opposite, are not
liable to have GMOs in their fields: this is the juridical base of the
Regional Government intervention and of the Court

Now, the justice in Italy, debate for the charge over the seed
industries: fraud, environmental disaster, compensation to the farmers, etc.

We have to underline that the company producing seeds and GMOs events are
liable, for the justice in Italy, not only who materially distributed the
seeds to farmers, identifying the liability of the biotech industry with
the one connected to the damage caused with their transgenic "invention",
like we are asking since ten years!


Giordano Onorati


European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering

Hartmut MEYER (Mr)
Kleine Wiese 6
D - 38116 Braunschweig

phone:  +49-531-5168746
fax:    +49-531-5168747
mobile: +49-162-1054755
email:  genetnl(at)