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Green groups push for New York state transgenic crop moratorium

(June 19, 2001 -- CropChoice news) -- Environmentalists want the New York legislature to pass a bill that would impose a 5-year moratorium on the planting or growing of transgenic crops.

This effort on the part of the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), Environmental Advocates and the state Green Party comes on the heels of a report that USPIRG released last week. It addressed the widespread testing of transgenic crops in open fiels, which some fear could contaminate wild plants, as well as conventional and organic crops.

As far as New York is concerned, the report found that from 1997 to 2000, the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved 209 field tests on about 2,000 acres in the state.

Researchers tested transgenic potatoes, corn, tomatoes, grapes, melons and apples.

Cornell University (32 permits), the New York state Experimental Station (15 permits), the State University of New York at Albany (6) and SUNY-Geneseo (5) were the most frequent recipients for permits to perform the experiments.