INDEPENDENT NEWS

Best to proceed with caution on GE in food chain

Published: Wed 29 Oct 2003 10:39 PM
Best to proceed with caution on GE in food chain
The lifting of the moratorium on the release of GE makes no difference to the ongoing need to proceed with caution, particularly with regard to GE material that may enter the food chain, Progressive Party MP Matt Robson said today.
The Progressives in Parliament promoted amendments seeking an extension of the moratorium on GM organisms likely to enter the food chain and for such a moratorium to continue until the long-term economic benefits - and the perceived safety of the technology - were much more certain.
The Progressives' amendments were rejected by four parties in Parliament, including National, ACT and United Future, and the Progressives accept with sadness the verdict of the democratic majority.
"We were unsuccessful in convincing a majority in Parliament to continue the moratorium until there is clear evidence that overseas consumer resistance to GM food had turned around.
"We continue to fear, however, the potentially negative impact on local jobs and export sales that could arise should a negative perception be attached to New Zealand food production," Matt Robson said.
A significant proportion of New Zealand's exports are dependent on consumers who buy premium quality goods and those consumers' perceptions reign supreme - whether they are rational and valid, or not.

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