INDEPENDENT NEWS

Hopeful Outlook For NZ's GE Free Agriculture

Published: Mon 10 Sep 2001 10:31 AM
Hopeful Outlook For New Zealand's GE Free Agriculture, Exports And Economy
Signs that Helen Clark may well preserve our options by keeping New Zealand free of GE releases are welcomed by GE Free New Zealand in Food and Environment.
'New Zealand's economy is dependent on our clean, green image overseas to sell its primary production and attract tourists to our shores,' said Susie Lees of GE Free NZ. 'The Prime Minister having read the report is now fully aware of the dangers of introducing this new technology into our environment and food supply at this early stage.'
GE Free NZ has continually been pushing for a moratorium on GE trials to avoid contamination to our agricultural products and soil ecosystems and protect public health. The instability of the genome of manipulated patented crops, now causing concern amongst mainstream scientists shows that there is not agreement on the safety of crops and food produced by the use of GE technology and casts doubts on their approvals and patents.
'The science fraternity is only too happy to own these manipulated products, but will not carry out independent tests to assure their safety to either environment or health.' said Susie. 'There are no insurance brokers known that will cover the risks of using GE in the open environment, it will be up to public to pay for any adverse results. We just want to see public concerns addressed.'
GE Free NZ will continue to ask for a food supply free of foods produced with the use of gene technology, since many GE foods have been on the market unapproved by ANZFA for several years. Although the Royal Commission report advocated choice, ANZFA proposes to leave all foods unlabelled on the shelves after 7th December until current stocks run out. The limited GE labelling regime and this new ruling stands to continue to deny the public the ability to make informed choices. Public submissions can be made to ANZFA until 12th September.
Ends

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