Published: Saturday 15 December 2001

-- (Credit: Kumar) The Argentine Movement for Organic Production (mapo), a group of 300 organic farmers, has recently filed a complaint against the Agriculture Department demanding that it should stop approving the use of and suspend all past authorisations of Bt corn, modified to resist insects. They are concerned over the potential long-term health effects of genetically modified (gm) products.

The group also wants to restrict the use and sale of gm corn seeds. "We are asking that approvals of transgenic corn be stopped forever," mapo President Rodolfo Tarraubella. "I expect a response from the judge within 30 days."

Argentina is the second largest user of gm products. Around 15 to 20 per cent of Argentine corn is genetically modified, while 90 percent of the soya crop is transgenic.

Many consumer groups and farmers have condemned the government's move to set up a biotechnology commission to research and promote gm products.

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