GENTECH archive 8.96-97


Greenpeace Blocks GE Corn Arriving in Portugal

Just received this from the Greenpeace press release list -- David J Knowles

>Comments: Authenticated sender is <greenbas@pop.greenbase.gl3>
>From: "Greenbase" <>
>Organization: Greenpeace
>Date: Wed, 19 Feb 1997 13:46:00 -8
>Subject: Greenpeace Calls on Portuguese Gov't to Ban GE Corn
>Lisbon , February 19 1997 -- Greenpeace is preventing a shipload
>of genetically engineered corn from docking at Lisbon harbour,
>its first direct action against genetically manipulated
>foodstuffs in Portugal since the organisation launched its
>international campaign against GE products.
>Around 30 activists from  Europe (Portugal, Spain, France,
>Switzerland, Germany, Netherland, Sweden and Belgium) and North
>America are using four inflatable boats to stop the ship, the
>Pacificator from Louisiana, from berthing at Lisbon docks. The
>action began around 12.30 pm local time.
>"There is no reason why Portugal -- one of Europe's biggest
>importers of corn --  should be exposed to genetically
>engineered corn while other Europeans are being protected by their
>governments," said Greenpeace campaigner Riki Aguilar.
>"By implementing Article 16 of the Directive which governs the
>release of genetically engineered foodstuffs, Austria and
>Luxembourg have banned the GE maize and forced the European
>Commission to reconsider its controversial decision to approve
>it. The Portuguese government should do the same."
>GE corn has been developed by the Swiss multinational Ciba Geigy
>to be resistant to a pesticide and to a corn pest. Greenpeace
>believes there are unacceptable environmental and health risks
>from the release of genetically engineered crops, and has
>carried out actions against GE corn and soya throughout Europe
>and the United States.
>Only last week, France anounced it would not allow the corn to
>be grown there. French Prime Minister Alain Juppe said they
>could not predict the long-term effects of sowing the genetically
>engineered seed.
>Luxembourg's Environment Minister has said that the findings of
>the scientific committees consulted by the Commission are not
>sufficiently conclusive to rule out all harmful effectts on
>human health and the environment.
>      ends
>Footage and pictures from today's action are available. For
>further information contact James Gillies, Press  Officer,
>Greenpeace International, Amsterdam, tel. 00 31 20 524 9548 Riki
>Aguilar, Campaigner,  Greenpeace International, Lisbon tel
>mobile 00 31 6 5342 9147