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Top SI businesswoman supports sustainable No-GE NZ

Top SI businesswoman supports sustainable no-GE NZ

Leading South Island businesswoman Peri Drysdale today endorsed moves to extend the genetic engineering (GE) moratorium for five years.

Ms Drysdale, who will speak to a visiting Commonwealth study group in Christchurch tonight, that she had concerns about New Zealand’s sustainable ethos by introducing GE.

Ms Drysdale said today she had reservations about releasing GE into New Zealand as it could damage New Zealand’s environmentally positive image.

``I support moves to slow down releasing GE into our environment by extending the moratorium for 5 years,’’ she said.

Ms Drysdale was the 2002 South Island businesswoman of the Year and her Snowy Peak lifestyle fashion company uses wallaby and possums – both damaging to the NZ environment - in their garments.

Snowy Peak has its own Untouched World Foundation to help protect Blumine Island, at the top of the South Island.

World leaders at the 1999 APEC Forum in Auckland all wore Untouched World clothing and then US President Bill Clinton returned two years ago to buy more Untouched World clothing.

Today Ms Drysdale said she would release her anti-GE and sustainability views to the Commonwealth study group tonight.

``We wanted to be sustainable because someone has to take a lead. It’s a highly profitable model for the future that New Zealand has a unique opportunity to take advantage of.’’

She said people were feeling the world was becoming an increasingly unsafe place.

``Unsafe everywhere from terrorism, unsafe food due to all the additives and unsafe synthetics and chemicals in products that are put on the skin and absorbed into the skin and into the body.

``The fastest growing sector in USA is the LOHAS market - lifestyles of health and sustainability - now making up 25 percent of the population, numbering 50 million people and $230 billion market for goods and services.

Ms Drysdale said the LOHAS sector was willing to pay a premium for products that were safe: organic food; pure plant extract body products; products that were made by companies with values similar to their own.

``Although NZ might have the tightest controls in place with regards to releasing GM, the LOHAS consumer will be wary of all New Zealand products, not trusting that we have not inadvertently contaminated our food chain or our plant species. A huge opportunity could be lost for what gain?’’

Ms Drysdale said releasing GE was short term thinking. Her company Snowy Peak, the parent company of Untouched World, is a design house, retail and fashion premium clothing operation with headquarters in Christchurch.

``We are unsure of GE and want to see the moratorium extended to five years. We need to be a world leader in sustainable development. ‘’

Copyright 2003 Word of Mouth Media

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