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Survey shows New Zealanders support Green policy

27 February 2001

Survey shows New Zealanders support Green policy

A new survey proves the Green Party's organics policy is a perfect fit for New Zealanders, says Green MP and organic farmer Ian Ewen-Street, said today.

Mr Ewen-Street welcomes the results of the Consumer Link survey, which has found that 63 per cent of New Zealanders want an organic future in 20 years time. Twenty-eight per cent want New Zealand to be "100 per cent Organic" and 34 per cent want New Zealand to be "mainly" producing organic foods. Only three per cent want New Zealand to be mainly or 100 per cent producing GM foods.

"This shows that the Green Party's policy is totally in accord with New Zealanders' thinking," said Mr Ewen-Street.

The Green policy is for New Zealand to be 50 per cent organic by 2020, with the remainder of producers in transition to organics at that date.

Mr Ewen-Street said he was disappointed by the survey's finding that the vast majority of New Zealanders are not aware of the Royal Commission into Genetic Modification - but he does not think it's because they don't care.

"It is disappointing that only eight per cent of New Zealanders are aware of the commission. But this low level of interest may be because they are so clear about where they stand on GM that they don't want to hear about it. They don't want to debate it - they've already rejected it."

"The adoption of organics must go hand in hand with the rejection of genetic modification because, as overseas experience shows, contamination of organic crops from nearby GM farms is unavoidable.

"Organics and genetic modification cannot co-exist. And whatever the finding of the Royal Commission, New Zealanders have already rejected genetic modification in favour of organics.

"It is time for the government to reflect the public attitude by reducing funding for GM research, increasing funding for organic research and actively promoting farmers wishing to convert from chemical dependence to organics," he said.

The new survey endorses previous surveys, he points out. "Last year a survey commissioned by the meat company Affco New Zealand found that 70 per cent of farmers, 78 per cent of city dwellers and 71 per cent of rural people believed the future of New Zealand agriculture lay in organics.

Ian Ewen-Street MP 04 470 6726; 025 902 527; 03 579 8003 Jane Tolerton (press secretary) 04 470 6679; 021 262 3120

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