Vanuatu's government has confirmed that it threatened to deport a New Caledonia-based NGO for spreading what it called unnecessary propaganda about genetically modified plant material.
The government this week banned the import of GM seeds as part of relief supplies after swathes of crops were wiped out by cyclone Pam.
The director of the biosecurity department, Timothy Tumukon, says messages by the NGO, Stop GMO Pacific, were excessive and caused unnecessary fear in communities.
"They were passing information in the media to say that the seeds that had come in or that are intended to come in are GM seeds. And it has very bad effects for the environment and also for people."
Timothy Tumukon says Vanuatu has strict regulations surrounding GM food.