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FFNZ Urge Government To Deter Eco-Terrorism

15 January 2001

Federated Farmers of New Zealand President, Alistair Polson is urging police to bring the full force of the law down on the eco-terrorists who destroyed genetically modified potatoes in Crop and Food's contained laboratory for GM experiments at the Lincoln Agriculture and Science Centre recently.

"Last year the Government chose to accept the recommendations of the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification that New Zealand proceed with GM technology with the appropriate caution," said Mr Polson. "We cannot let the democratic process be derailed by those who choose to live outside the law."

"Maintaining international competitiveness is vital for a small trading nation. GM technology offers significant opportunities to improve New Zealanders' health, their environment, and the economy. The actions of a fundamentalist minority will only serve to discourage investment in scientific research and lessen the attraction of New Zealand for scientists."

"The Federation supports the need to assess and manage risks to the health and safety of people and the environment from the application of gene technology as provided by the Environmental Risk Management Authority. The Royal Commission endorsed this process, the most robust in the world - what makes these eco-terrorists think they know better.

"This act of illegal trespass and wanton destruction of a contained scientific research trial has been labelled as "non violent action" by the anti-GM fraternity. Who knows where this non-violent action will end. If the perpetrators are not bought to justice will we see the destruction of GM medical research facilities?

"The Federation urges the Government to ensure penalties for such actions act as a deterrent to prevent further instances of eco-terrorism."

Ends

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