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GE conference rehashing tired myths

Genetic engineering conference rehashing tired myths

Green MP Nandor Tanczos today said it was little wonder the public were suspicious of genetic engineering when the biotechnology industry kept rehashing tired myths as fact in an unscrupulous effort to justify their work.

Mr Tanczos today attended a protest at the conference of New Zealand's pro-genetic engineering lobby group, the Lifesciences Network. The protest, at the Sheraton Hotel in Auckland, was well attended by a number of consumer groups and will run the full length of the two day conference.

"The Green Party is not surprised that the best this lobby group can do is bring a scientist - Dr C.S. Prakash - here from America to tell us that genetic engineering is needed to feed the world," said Mr Tanczos. "People aren't dying of starvation because there is not enough food on the planet, but because they cannot pay for it. Patenting DNA will just make food even less affordable for those people."

Mr Tanczos said he wished the huge biotech companies like Monsanto would be honest and admit their backing of genetic engineering had very little to do with feeding the hungry and everything to do with corporate profit.

"I am pleased that people turned out to protest this conference today. These people are protesting in support of immediate and meaningful labelling of genetically engineered foods and against the promotion of genetic engineering for corporate profit."

Mr Tanczos said he was disappointed that Lifesciences were advocating for genetic engineering, when in an interview this morning Dr Prakash admitted there was no 100 per cent guarantee with genetically engineered crops. "Considering that these crops are now widely planted across much of the world, that's pretty scary," said Mr Tanczos. "No wonder the world is turning their back on genetically engineered foods so fast."

Ends

Nandor Tanczos MP: Jonathan Hill (press secretary): 04 470 6719

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