PARIS (B)--Greenpeace militants blocking the unloading of 22,000 tons of genetically-modified U.S. soybean at the port of Bassens, near Bordeaux, have agreed to admit half the tonnage after receiving a guarantee that it is non-GMO. "However, we will continue to block the unloading of the remaining soya as we are certain it's genetically modified," Arnaud Apoteker, Greenpeace anti-GMO campaign leader in France said.
"By giving us the guarantee that two containers out of four had non-GMO soya, it makes us believe that the remaining is GMO," Apoteker said. "Our aim is to block the remaining soya from being unloaded in France," he said.
"What this protest highlights is that there is no labeling on the soya to indicate whether the soya is genetically modified or not," he added.
Apoteker said the cargo on board the Greek-registered Polidefkisp originated with U.S.-based Cargill Inc. and was being shipped from New Orleans to the French company Eridania Beghin-Say.
This Greenpeace protest coincides with the first meeting of the inter-governmental committee for the application of the Carthagene protocol on bio-safety. This protocol was agreed by 130 countries in January 2000.
"The meeting should focus on the labeling issue in international trade,"