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Posted by: DR. RAUPP & madora (IP Logged)
Date: September 17, 2004 11:52AM ;

An agricultural research station yesterday destroyed 1,000 suspected
genetically modified (GM) papaya trees in Muang district, September, 2004 by
Khon Kaen .

?Ten years of research aimed at improving disease resistance in papayas
was destroyed, along with the experimental crops,? said research station
chief Wilai Prasartsri.

Wilai said the research setback was unjustified and was essnetially based on
an unfounded fear of GM crops.

The felled trees were buried in a two-metre-deep hole. Wilai added that she
had observed strict safety measures to ensure the experimental papayas did
not contaminate local crops, adding that an internal investigation had yet
to confirm whether the contamination originated from her research station.

Five papaya farmers, who witnessed the destruction of the GM papaya trees,
expressed their support for Wilai to continue her research.

In Bangkok, Agriculture Minister Somsak Thepsuthin said he suspected that
workers at the research station had unwittingly mixed seeds from GM papayas
with those destined for distribution to farmers.

?Authorities are checking the papayas grown in 2,600 farms in the Northeast
and will destroy only GM crops,? Somsak said.

Agriculture Department director-general Chakan Saengraksawong said the
authorities had finished collecting samples from every papaya farm across
the country.

Test results will be known within the next two days and tainted crops will
be destroyed within one month, he said.


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