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 user 2006-05-26 at 10:52:00 am Views: 44
  • #15558
    Greenpeace activists dump thousands of papayas at the offices of<br />
Thailand's Department of Agriculture in Bangkok, protesting against<br />
the government's disregard for protection of consumers and the<br />
environment against threats caused by the spread of illegal<br />
genetically engineered GE papaya in Thailande threat also<br />
concerns consumers in many European and Asian countries that import<br />
papaya from Thailand, such as the Netherlands, Germany, France, UK,<br />
Belgium, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, Georgia, China, Japan and Hong<br />

    Aloha, genetically engineered papaya. Goodbye, Papaya sales

    Greenpeace activists deliver thousands of contaminated papayas to authorities in Thailand.

    — The island of Hawaii’i, also known as the Big Island. An island
    filled with contrasts – lush tropical rain forests, grassy rolling
    hills, dry deserts, sunny beaches and snow capped volcanic peaks …an
    alluring and exotic tropical island. And the world’s largest open-air
    genetic engineering laboratory.

    The Big Island contains the world’s greatest concentration of
    climate types in one relatively small area. Hawaii has 11 of the
    world’s 13 climate zones in just over 4000 square miles of terrain. In
    the midst of this beauty agro-chemical conglomerates have exploited
    this special place.  

    Hawaii has run more than 4,000 GE field
    trials to date — more  than any other location in the world per square
    metre.  Corn, soy, wheat, sugarcane (biopharmaceuticals), orchids, lime
    tree, sorgum, cotton, barley and coffee have all been exploited in GE
    field trials by a well-funded and greedy agro-chemical industry.   

    Only one GE crop is approved for commercial purposes: the Papaya. A new report by Greenpeace demonstrates how it has devastated the Hawaiian export market.

    has been grown in tropical regions of the world for as long as history
    has been recorded. This brightly coloured and unique fruit that we have
    enjoyed for centuries is under threat, in Hawaii successful papaya
    growing and stable export markets were flourishing up until the
    commercialisation of genetically engineered papaya in 1998. Then things
    changed. Several years after the GE industry got control over papaya
    farmers and the papaya they grow the export market for Hawaiian papaya

    Hawaii is the only place in the world where GE Papaya
    is grown commercially and most of the countries importing Hawaii papaya
    - including the EU, Japan and China – have an aversion to GE crops and
    foods. Doors started closing on Hawaii’s papaya exports and prices went
    into free fall. Organic and conventional farmers were earning up to
    three times as much for their GE-free papayas. But the organic exports
     are on the downturn now as well,  as it is harder to guarantee GE-free
    fruit due to contamination from neighbouring GE strains.

    papayas are a big issue on this island, science put them here and now
    with the help of volunteers and local farmers we are taking them away,”
    said Terri Mulroy, organic papaya farmer on Hawaii Island commenting
    from a recent decontamination event at her farm. “Once the GE papayas
    are removed I will be happy again and hope that all of my remaining
    papayas are GE-free.”

    Will Thailand learn from Hawaii’s mistakes?

    Thailand, Thais will invite you to partake in one of their favourite
    foods – somtam – the green papaya salad eaten daily throughout the

    This traditional dish and Thailand’s own papaya export
    markets are under threat from the US GE papaya industry as they stretch
    their tentacles into South East Asia.

    Thai papaya farmers tainted by GE

    GE Papaya has not been commercialised in Thailand and a three-year
    freeze on the growing of all GE crops has been achieved, Thai farmers
    and industries are facing mounting pressure by the US agro-chemical
    companies, which could threaten these bans. Already, due to a Thai
    Government agency’s role in the illegal distribution of GE-contaminated
    papaya seeds, contamination issues for conventional and organic growers
    is an ongoing problem.

    We don’t want it

    has an existing ban on the planting and sale of GE crops, but this has
    been under constant assault from the agro-chemical industry, led mainly
    by US interests. The GE papaya which caused the ongoing contamination
    of Thai farms was developed by the same scientist who introduced
    Hawaii’s problematic GE papaya.

    “The Thai Government has
    attempted to lift the genetic engineering ban under pressure from the
    US government and the agro-chemical industry. However, Thais oppose GE
    crops because we don’t want to lose the market for our farm crops, like
    what happened to Hawaiian papayas, as well as our status as the world’s
    kitchen,” said Patwajee Srisuwan

    The Hawaiian and Thai
    Governments and industry need to pull back from this economically,
    environmentally, and export-damaging technology. They need to look
    closely at the evidence provided from both regions and then move
    towards supporting and nurturing the conventional and organic papaya
    growers upon whom, ultimately, the burden of GE contamination will fall.