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Wine Producers Should Be Wary Of GE Efforts

Wine Producers Should Be Wary Of Genetic Engineering Efforts

Marlborough-based Green MP Ian Ewen-Street today said New Zealand wine producers should be wary of international efforts to genetically engineer grape vines.

"New Zealand wine makers, such as those in Marlborough and Hawkes Bay, should be particularly concerned at moves to genetically engineer grape vines, as such moves are at odds with the crucial clean, green reputation of New Zealand wine," said Mr Ewen-Street.

Mr Ewen-Street said although there were no plans to genetically engineer grape vines in New Zealand, the use of genetic engineering in viticulture was an issue that New Zealand wine producers were going to have to address and take a position on at some time or other.

"While the promises of genetic engineers are designed to appeal to the producers of food and wine, the reality is that the overwhelming consumer opposition to genetically engineered products means they are virtually unsaleable," he said.

"Moves abroad to genetically engineer grape vines show that nothing is sacred. We hope the Royal Commission into Genetic Modification will recommend that our crops, our animals and our environment stay GE-Free and, in doing so, protect the clean green image that we trade upon so heavily," he said.

Mr Ewen-Street said genetically engineering crops for food had been disastrous for producers as consumers around the world did not want to eat genetically engineered foods.

"I am sure the same will be true for wine," he said.

"Wineries in New Zealand should keep a close eye on what is happening in this area overseas, especially given the scale of investment in wine in New Zealand.

"The Greens believe moves to genetically engineer grape vines is bad news for the global wine industry and we hope wineries across New Zealand take a firm position opposing the use of this technology in their industry."


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