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Greens re-extend invitation for GE-free Nestle

The Green Party today added their voice to an invitation for Nestle to commit to removing genetically engineered ingredients from their products in New Zealand, as they have done in Europe and Asia.

Greenpeace first issued the invitation at a protest outside a distribution centre for Nestle in South Auckland this morning. A number of the protestors were arrested by police after chaining themselves to the building in protest.

Later an Australian spokesman for Nestle Oceania, interviewed on the Kim Hill show this morning, said it was "likely" that an instant soy drink sold in New Zealand contained genetically engineered ingredients. He refused to take up Greenpeace's invitation to make a public commitment to go GE-free, saying that to issue the invitation during a protest was "somewhat dubious."

Ms Kedgley said she hoped Nestle would reconsider their position, as New Zealand consumers were asking for nothing more than the same GE-free guarantee that Nestle had given consumers in Austria, France, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong over the past year.

"In refusing to make this commitment, Nestle are flouting the wishes of New Zealand consumers to know whether they are consuming GE products," she said.

"New Zealand consumers deserve the same assurances as their European and Asian counterparts - to be sure that they are not consuming genetically altered substances without their knowledge."

However Ms Kedgley said consumers should take heart from Nestle's dual policy. "This is a classic illustration of how active consumer groups in Europe have forced GE products off the market. New Zealand consumers can have the same influence if we speak up loudly enough."


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