INDEPENDENT NEWS

G.E. Protest calls on Nestle to go G.E. Free

Published: Fri 20 Aug 1999 08:06 AM
PRESS RELEASE
ANTI-GE PROTEST
Genetic Engineering Protest calls on Nestle to go G.E. Free
Friday 20 August
Monarch butterflies cavorted while individuals clad in biohazard suits carried products such as Milo, Milky Bar and Kit Kat, said by Nestle to possibly contain G.E. ingredients.
Thursday 19 August, the anniversary of the defeat of Phillida Bunkle's first genetic engineering bill, saw a group of 60-70 walk through Newmarket to deliver hundreds of letters to Nestle's head office.
The letters call on Nestle to take a proactive approach and immediately label products that contain G.E. ingredients, and to heed the call of its customers and replace them with G.E. free ingredients.
One speaker, Greens candidate Nandor Tanczos said, "labelling is a no brainer. Its outrageous, really. We shouldn't have to be asking for this; it should be taken as a given."
Although the government recently decided to label foods containing G.E. ingredients, Health Minister Wyatt Creech has stated that it won't happen until October 2000, and G.E. campaigners have pointed out other uncertainties in this scheme.*
In Britain, Nestle have gone G.E. free, under public pressure. And in the USA they are quoted** as saying "In countries where public opinion rejects ingredients derived from genetically modified crops, Nestle respects the consumer's preference and will provide its customers...with products that do not contain these ingredients."
"Nestle NZ say they have not heard from people and have not noticed the ongoing boycott on their products" Jon Carapiet, Green Party Northern Region co-spokeserson on genetic engineering, "but now they have hundreds of letters and countless phone calls to show them that indeed New Zealanders do want them to withdraw G.E. ingredients."
ENDS
Further Information Jon Carapiet ph 0064 - 9 - 815 3370 Or via email c/o stu@ihug.co.nz
Nandor Tanczos c/o HempStore ph 0064 - 9 - 302 5255
*Labelling saying "may contain G.E. ingredients" will be allowed, even though many manufacturers were not in favour of this in the recent submissions on labelling policy. And ANZFA still have not given a definition of genetically engineered ingredients, although they were asked in December 1998 to do so by health ministers. It is feared that highly processed ingredients, additives and colourings will escape this definition, and that a level will be set below which labelling will not be needed.
** In a letter to Mothers and Others, who are working on the GE issue with Greenpeace USA

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