GE-Free NZ in food and environment
Auckland GE-Free coalition and GE-Free NZ in food and environment.
Biotechnology industry urged to act ethically as thousands march for a GE-Free environment.
Thousands of New Zealanders marched through Auckland city this afternoon to demand the government prevent irreversible contamination of the environment through the release of GE organisms and for GE to be regulated to ensure an ethical biotechnology strategy for the country.
Media observers estimated the crowd to be 10,000 and of a similar size to last September's GE-Free rally. After the march through Queen St. to Albert Park people gathered for performances by musicians including the Topp Twins and speakers from science, academia, business, and Mothers against GE. Waitakere Mayor and former Labour Party president Bob Harvey also made an impassioned speech supporting the vision of GE-Free food and environment.
Jon Carapiet, a spokesperson for the Auckland GE-Free Coalition and GE-Free NZ (in food and environment) told the crowd that warnings were coming from scientists and doctors and that humanity itself was now threatened by the insane push to clone human beings.
"The only way to protect our families, our land and future generations is to control GE: to keep it contained, and where a use is found to be unethical - for it not to be done ," he said.
Mr Carapiet also called on the biotechnology industry and government to listen to the voice of the people and to work together with Mothers, Maori and other community groups on a way forward that respects human and community values, the environment and peoples' right to choose.
"We know from Mexico's contaminated corn crops, the superweeds emerging in America and the collapse in exports, where the line must be drawn for these experimental organisms: they must be kept contained," he said.
"We know it is not ethical to pollute our land step by step so that there is no longer any choice to avoid "a little bit" of GE contamination in our food," said Mr Carapiet.
There was also a warning that release of GE threatened New Zealand's economy by destroying the opportunity for future generations to produce GE-Free food when the world is crying out for clean food.
Speakers were critical of particularly cruel experiments: the nightmare of human cloning, knocking out genes in animals , and inserting human genes into cows when the Royal Commission said not to use food animals in this way and to look first for alternative research.
The global impact of GE was also a theme of speeches at the rally.
" It is not ethical to force the hungry of the world to eat untested experimental food, or to force farmers into slavery to seed corporations," said Mr Carapiet."Terminator genes that produce barren seed that will never grow are a threat to food security and humanity's inheritance."
Bio-Piracy by companies stealing indigenous people's knowledge of plants and animals was also heavily criticised along with concerns about patents that force the sick to pay a license fee to be tested for some forms of cancer.
Corporates were also urged to accept full liability for their speculation into GE rather than expecting the Public to cover costs of damage because insurance companies refuse to.
" There is a future for ethical biotechnology in this country- but for our food and environment the future is GE-Free," he said.