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Scientist warns of US FTA used to push GE rice

TWN FTA Info | 09 April 2007

Dear friends and colleagues,

Re: Scientist Warns of US FTA Used to Push GE Rice

Dr. Michael K Hansen, from the US-based Consumer Policy Institute urged Malaysia to be cautious in its negotiations with the US on an FTA as the US might have a hidden agenda, that is to sell its unwanted genetically engineered (GE) rice to Malaysia.

Recently, US long-grain rice in the US was found to have been contaminated with GE varieties which have not been approved for commercial release. Its safety for human consumption is also questionable. As a result, the US is now facing billions of dollars in losses from a lack of demand for the GE rice.

Best wishes,

Third World Network
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email: [email protected]
websites: www.twnside.org.sg and www.ftamalaysia.org


Utusan Malaysia | 6 April 2007

Beras import belum tentu selamat dimakan

[English translation below]

PUTRAJAYA 5 April - Tahukah kita bahawa tidak semua beras dari luar negara berkualiti dan selamat dimakan.

Ini kerana beras yang dihasilkan melalui teknologi kejuruteraan genetik (GE) berlebihan adalah tercemar dan boleh mendatangkan kesan negatif kepada penggunanya.

Perkara itu didedahkan oleh pakar Biologi dan Ekologikal Entomologis dari Amerika Syarikat (AS), Dr. Michael K. Hansen

Hansen yang juga Penyelidik Kanan Bersekutu di Institut Dasar Pengguna iaitu satu bahagian dalam Kesatuan Pengguna berpangkalan di AS menegaskan, ujian mendapati beras-beras yang dihasilkan melalui kaedah GE terutama yang di AS adalah tercemar.

‘‘Sebenarnya, petani di AS kerugian berbilion-bilion dolar kerana produk mereka gagal dipasarkan ke negara-negara luar.

‘‘Sebab itu Malaysia perlu berwaspada dengan sikap AS yang beria-ia mahu menjayakan matlamatnya itu.

‘‘Vietnam contohnya mengambil tindakan menghentikan import beras dari AS akibat faktor GE dan AS semakin terdesak memasarkan produk beras itu,” katanya ketika berucap pada majlis penerangan makanan ubah suai genetik (GM) di sini, hari ini.

Sehubungan itu, beliau meminta Malaysia berhati-hati dalam Rundingan Perjanjian Perdagangan Bebas (FTA) dengan AS terutama mengenai isu beras.

Menurutnya, AS sebenarnya mempunyai agenda tersembunyi untuk menjaga kepentingan petaninya yang kini mengalami kerugian lebih RM4.6 bilion kerana beras keluaran mereka tidak dapat dieksport ke luar negara.

Tindakan Malaysia enggan berkompromi dengan AS berhubung produk pertanian bijak kerana isu beras merupakan salah satu daripada 58 isu yang terkandung dalam FTA, katanya.


English translation

No Guarantee Imported Rice Safe for Consumption

In an article in Utusan Malaysia on 6 April 2007, Dr. Michael K Hansen, from US Centre of Consumer Policy was reported as stating that not all imported rice is of quality and safe for consumption. Studies have shown that rice produced by GE processes in the US can be contaminated and have negative effects if consumed. Due to this, farmers in the US are facing billions in losses from a lack of demand for GE crop. For example, Vietnam has ceased importing rice from the US and the Government is under increasing pressure to market GE rice overseas. Dr. Michael advised a cautious attitude towards an FTA with the US as the US has a hidden agenda in negotiating the FTA, seeking to protect its farmers who now face more than RM4.6 billion in losses due to the lack of demand for GE rice. He further stated that the uncompromising stance taken by the Malaysian government on agricultural products, which includes rice, in negotiating the FTA is wise.


 source: TWN