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2-Plants: Estonia GM maize scandal rocks industry

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TITLE:  Estonia GM maize scandal rocks industry
SOURCE: AgraFood East Europe, June 2003
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DATE:   Jul 29, 2003

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Estonia GM maize scandal rocks industry

Estonia's first scandal over GM products erupted late last month when it
was revealed that unauthorised GM maize seeds had been sold to local
farmers. Daily newspaper Aripaev alleged that a company connected to ex-
Minister of Agriculture Jaanus Marrandi had sold about 500 tonnes of
imported GM maize seeds to Estonian farmers this year without informing
them of the seeds' true nature. The farmers were either about to plant
the seeds in the next few weeks or had already done so, according to
reports. Many farmers said the maize harvested was to be used to feed
cows whose milk is supplied to local dairies. The Ministry of Env said no
comment would be made until an investigation into the case had been
completed. However, officials confirmed that the maize seeds sold to the
farmers were GM. The investigation is not over yet, but we recommend that
farmers who bought this GM maize do not sow it until we have reached a
final decision,the ministry said.


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