NEWS

Activists: GM cotton unchecked

Despite the official ban on cultivating genetically modified crops in Greece, independent testing found high quantities of GM cotton in this year’s output, the Greenpeace environmental group said yesterday. Greenpeace activists mounted a protest outside the Agriculture Ministry in Athens, urging the government to seize all this year’s cotton crop and conduct wide-ranging tests for GM pollution. «We found that GM seeds have been imported and sown, while the plants have been harvested,» Greenpeace spokeswoman Myrto Pispini said. «These seeds were not caught by the official testing system.» Greenpeace tests found that six out of seven samples of cotton seed and kernels – used for animal fodder – from cotton mills in central Greece «contained alien genetic material.» In May, the Agriculture Ministry said it had tested 566 samples of cotton seeds imported for sowing, and only found three to be GM-positive. Two of the polluted shipments were destroyed, and the third returned to the US exporter.