NZ limps towards a GE-Free Organic Future

Published: Tue 30 Oct 2001 05:16 PM
Healthy Soil >>>>>> Healthy Food >>>>>> Healthy People
Media Statement - October 30, 2001
NZ limps towards a GE-Free Organic Future
"The government¹s two year moratorium on commercial releases of genetically engineered crops is a qualified, and partial, victory for the organic movement, but it is not enough", said Dr Meriel Watts, Director of the Soil & Health Association of NZ.
"We have a two year period of grace during which we have to ensure that the government extends that moratorium to a permanent one. This is the beginning of a long journey towards New Zealand becoming an organic nation".
However it may be severely compromised by the Labour/Alliance approval for an escalation of field trials.
"The government's proposed conditions on field trials essentially add nothing to current practice and will not prevent escapes of genetically engineered material into the environment," said Watts. Meanwhile, the government has failed to make the industry or Crown Research Institutes legally liable for their mistakes as recommended by the recent Chen/Palmer/Terry report.
"The government has caved into a noisy minority of self-interested people, and now we face the prospect of contamination of our soils and our organic produce, without any form of legal redress."
Consumers and farmers in New Zealand have stated repeatedly that we want our future to be an organic one, that GE belongs in the lab and not in our food chain. We will not accept any GE contamination of our organic food" said Watts.
The SOIL & HEALTH Assn of NZ (Inc) Publishers of ORGANIC NZ PO Box 36-170, Northcote, Auckland, NZ Tel/fax: +64-9-480-4440

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