Expert warns of illegal GM Papaya on EU market

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Expert warns of illegal GM Papaya on EU market
The food and fruit industries to be vigilant against a banned variety of genetically modified papaya coming into the EU from Thailand, say experts.

The warning comes after a ‘wave’ of genetically modified (GM) papaya was rejected by European Union Border Controls in June.

Richard Werran, Managing Director of Cert ID Europe, noted that Thailand is an important global producer of papaya – with a significant percentage exported primarily to Europe.

“Although genetically modified crops are not permitted in Thailand, there is support for GM technology and it would appear that GM seeds for an EU banned variety of papaya have been illegally distributed to farmers across Thailand,” ​he suggests.

“Clearly the occurrence of GMOs in Thai papaya is not good news for the country’s export business to Europe because GM papaya is legally not permitted and consumers remain sensitive to GM issues in any case.”

Tighter controls

Cert ID said that whilst it is difficult to establish accurate information, there are indications that a significant percentage of Thai cultivated papaya could now be transgenic.

“Cert ID urges EU importers of papaya, papaya derivatives such as juice and papaya containing products not to rely on documentation as verification of non-GM status but to install extra controls such as screening products for GM presence and to consider the additional security and peace of mind Non-GMO certification provides,” ​said Werran.

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2 comments

gmo papayas contamination

Posted by john2,

the contamination of conventional papayas in Thailand is well documented, and so the concern about gm exports to EU are totally valid. The GM papayas in Hawaii were developed in collaboration with the GM industry, as a PR stunt making GM papayas a poster child for the GM industry. Nevertheless, 14 yrs after its release, no safety studies have been published on GM papaya. No economic studies either to show its so called success.

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Dealer of nightlights stokes fears of the bogeyman...

Posted by John,

That's a quality article, an industry person with a clear business interest (Non-GMO certification) is presented as an "expert" who "suggests" that "it would appear" that there may be GM papaya in Thailand. So there's obviously no evidence but it's only speculation - by somebody who is set to benefit financially from this very speculation. So what was the news again? (Granted that stuff that's not approved shouldn't be on the market, but GM papayas are grown on Hawaii and consumed since more than 12 years already, and they were not developed by an "evil" corporation but in the public sector, and they are disease resistant, i.e. they do not increase pesticide use, either. A more innocent target can hardly be found.)

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