On 9 July 2002 the ruling Labour Party was under pressure on the Genetic Engineering (GE) issue, when John Campbell confronted Prime Minister Helen Clark over the suspected release of GE corn seed in 2000. In a 3 News special, a fired-up Campbell, informed by Nicky Hager's yet-to-be-published book Seeds of Distrust, alleged there had been a cover-up. Upset at what she perceived as an ambush, Clark reacted tersely; she later labelled Campbell a "sanctimonious little creep". With a general election looming, the encounter was dubbed 'Corngate'.
Sanctimonious little creep.– Helen Clark’s later description of Campbell