GENTECH archive 8.96-97

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Greenpeace plans to stop German gene maize sowings



Greenpeace plans to stop German gene maize sowings

FRANKFURT, Jan 28 (Reuter) - Greenpeace, the environmental group opposed
to genetically
modified soybeans, will also try to stop the planting of gene altered
maize in Germany, activist Dieke
Bobbink said on Tuesday. 

"We're especially concerned that the maize will be grown here whereas
the soybeans are imported
from the United States," she said from outside the German headquarters
of Swiss food group Nestle
SA NESZn.S during a protest action against gene soya. 

"We're going to deal with this over the next few months with a view to
stopping plantings in 1997,"
she added. 

It is unclear whether plant breeders will be able to offer the new type
of maize seeds for 1997 spring
plantings, but gene maize is due to be sown in Germany in 1998 at the
latest. 

Bobbink said the maize, developed by Swiss chemicals firm Ciba Geigy AG
CIGZn.S and so far only
grown in the U.S., was approved for import and sale in the EU despite
consumer opposition. 

Greenpeace fears risks to human health and the environment from such
products. 

The protest action today renewed Greenpeace's opposition to
herbicide-resistant soybeans made by
U.S. firm Monsanto Co . 

Soybean processors in Europe have been receiving these beans from the
new U.S. crop since late
1996 without separating them from conventional beans. 

Greenpeace is also concerned that new food labelling laws do not cover
bulk deliveries of soy, maize
and other products. 

Rules for the marketing and labelling of genetically modified and other
novel foods in the EU,
approved by the European Parliament on Jan 16, have too many loopholes
to protect and inform
consumers, it says. 

-Vera Eckert, Hamburg newsroom +49-40-41903275