A food activist has been convicted for illegally importing plants and seeds from overseas in what he says was an attempt to protect New Zealand’s food sources from the threat of genetic modification.
Kyle Arthur, 30, was caught by biosecurity officials sneaking consignments of “wild, heritage, and heirloom non-genetically engineered plants and seeds” without permission from the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI).
A raid on his Christchurch found he’d illegally imported papaya, mango, jackfruit, tamarind and banana between October 2017 and June last year.
So by his actions he was exposing NZ growers to potential diseases and parasites.
Arthur had earlier sought a discharge without conviction, telling a Christchurch District Court judge that a criminal blemish would stop him from travelling to various overseas countries and continuing his quest to legally source GM-free plants and seeds.
What bullshit. You don’t need to travel to legally source plants and seeds.
Judge Couch accepted that Arthur was motivated by genuine concerns that New Zealand’s plant diversity and purity is endangered by increasing genetic modification, and not by a wish to harm the ecosystem or personally profit.
Really? No profit?
Arthur then sold the unauthorised material, largely through Trade Me
Not giving it away?