INDEPENDENT NEWS

Aucklanders raise the banners for a GE-Free zone

Published: Sat 6 Oct 2001 05:14 PM
Press Release: Auckland GE Free Coalition
Aucklanders raise the banners for a GE-Free zone
Auckland Town Hall took centre stage today as banners bearing the signatures of thousands of people were wrapped around the building to mark national "GE-Free Day" .
GE-free banners run the length of the town hall, and hung from the balcony, as the crowd chanted support for Auckland declaring itself a GE-Free Zone, just as other cities around New Zealand have done.
The crowd, entertained by musicians and drummers, and listened to speeches from representatives of the business, agricultural, medical and scientific communities. As well as Green politician Jeannette Fitzsimons local MPs advocating a GE-free Auckland attending the gathering.
" The risk of GE field trials contaminating the soil and the environment is more than hypothetical", said Jon Carapiet, a spokesperson for the Auckland GE-Free coalition.
"We already have examples of breaches of supposedly 'contained' trials with tamarillos and GE salmon, not to mention the global contamination of the corn supply by the potentially allergenic Starlink.
GE contamination effects everyone: farmers, exporters, business-people, and ordinary consumers who are being faced with a situation that denies them any choice. There may soon be no food - conventionally-grown or organic - that will not be contaminated by GE at up to 1%."
The banner ceremony was well attended despite the poor weather. The crowd at the Town Hall were joined by marchers from the GE-Free Hikoi which began in Cape Reinga on Monday. The banners where formally presented to members of the Hikoi who will be gathering even more signatures on banners as they make their way to Wellington.
Around the country in over 20 centres other events took place to mark the day. For details see www.gefree.net.nz
ENDS
Contact Jon Carapiet 09 815 3370
Contact Brendan Lynch 025 630 6317

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