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GE Soy Milk 'Disturbing'


Hon Phillida Bunkle
Minister of Consumer Affairs

Media release
30 March 2000

GE Soy Milk 'Disturbing'

Reports that Nestle has been using genetically engineered soya beans, are disturbing, the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Hon Phillida Bunkle said today.

"I find it upsetting that Nestle admit their instant soy milk is likely to contain genetically engineered material. I am also upset that it has taken protest action from Greenpeace to highlight this case before the public," Ms Bunkle said.

Ms Bunkle, who is also the Alliance Party's GE spokeswoman, said it was unfortunate today's protests outside the Nestle Distribution Centre in Wiri, South Auckland, ended with arrests. The action followed Greepeace's discovery that Nestle's instant Carnation soy is contaminated with Monsanto's genetically engineered Roundup Ready Soya. Greenpeace say the soya beans are repeatedly sprayed with Roundup weedkiller.

"There is considerable frustration felt by people about the quality of their food. All they want is the right to know what is in their food, where it came from and whether it contains GE products or not," she said.

Ms Bundle added her voice of support to that of Greenpeace spokesman Carl Reller, who called on consumers to lodge their complaints or concerns with Nestle using the company's 0800 830 840 consumer line.

"This would be a timely opportunity for people to call on companies like Nestle, to voluntarily become, completely GE free."

News reports that Nestle's corporate services general manager Peter Kelly said he would be comfortable with a health labelling regime, should signal that food manufacturers are becoming aware of consumer concerns, Ms Bunkle said.

ENDS

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