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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Greenpeace attacks Canberra GM wheat it says is for secret human trials, links Monsanto

GREENPEACE activists have attacked a genetically modified wheat crop being grown at a CSIRO experimental station in Canberra.
The group claims the trial crop is part of a secret experiment which will involve human feeding trials later this year.
Greenpeace said two of its members used whipper snippers to remove the wheat from a CSIRO site at Ginninderra in Canberra's north.
The attack came after CSIRO denied a Freedom of Information request for more information about the trials.
Greenpeace has called for the organisation to reveal what financial arrangements it has with GM companies such as the US-based multinational Monsanto.
"The only reason our CSIRO is putting it in the ground is because they've been bought out by foreign GM companies," Greenpeace campaigner Laura Kelly said.
In a statement released to News.com.au the CSIRO said police were investigating the incident.

"CSIRO can confirm there has been a break-in overnight at their crop trial site at Ginninderra in the ACT," the statement read.

"The police, and the government’s gene technology regulatory authority - the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) – have been informed and are inspecting the site.

"CSIRO is currently assessing the damage to the trial crops and considering next steps."

The statement did not confirm or deny the trial was to include human feeding or connected to any private companies involved in GM research, but provided a link to its policy on gene technology on its website.
Greenpeace claims CSIRO animal feeding tests show that there are risks associated with GM crops.
"They fed GM crops to mice and the mice displayed allergic reactions and failed to gain weight," Ms Kelly said, adding the effect on humans was still unknown because it had never been tested.
Australia's $4.7 billion wheat export industry was too important to hand over to foreign GM companies, she said.

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