Greece & France Order Destruction of Genetically Engineered Cotton

8/7/00
Greece to Destroy 9,000 Acres of Biotech Cotton
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(7 August - Cropchoice News) -- The Greek agriculture minister announced
today that the country will destroy over 9,000 acres of fields planted
with biotech-contaminated cotton. Greece says it will pay affected
farmers an estimated 3.5 million dollars. It is the first time that a
government has ordered the destruction of a biotech crop used primarily
for nonfood purposes.

Greek officials say that more than 6 tons of cotton seed imported this
year contained GMOs, none of which are approved for commercial planting in
the country. By destroying the contaminated fields, Greece hopes to avoid
problems with its major cotton exports to other European countries.

The announcement marks the third GMO-contaminated crop to be plowed under
in Europe this year. In May, several countries destroyed GMO-contaminated
canola seed imported from Canada and France decided this weekend to
destroy a small plot of biotech contaminated soybeans. The plot, with up
to 1.5% biotech content, was for seed production.

Greek farmers were the biggest victims of the latest mixup, which was
caused by seed companies not keeping conventional varieties separate from
GMOs. None of the seeds were supposed to be biotech.

Greece produces just short of 400,000 metric tons of cotton fibre
(excluding seeds & oil) a year - equivalent just over 10% of US
production.

Source: Reuters, Greenpeace-Greece
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