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Greens Support Organic Friendly Rodney

8 August 2001

Green Party Rodney MP Sue Bradford today welcomed the proposal to declare Rodney an organic friendly district and called on Council to go all the way and declare Rodney a GE-Free district.

"Rodney is already a beautiful place to live. An organic friendly brand and declaration of a GE free zone would help us to strengthen our economic development and to uphold New Zealand's unique green, clean image." Mayor John Law has proposed that Rodney should be declared 'organic friendly'. He said whether it would be extended to GE Free would have to be the subject of further investigation.

In an interview for "Rodney Times" Mr Law said if a 'GE-Free declaration' were to be made in Rodney it would have to be achievable.

"Nelson has shown that a GE-Free zone is achievable," said Ms Bradford.

" A GE-Free zone prevents any field trials of GE crops being planted or a herd of GE cows being bred in the area. It prevents GE organisms from being released into the environment in that area - but diabetics can still get GE insulin and other patients can still get medical treatment, despite scaremongering to the contrary.

"The Royal Commission advised that we could have some GE-Free zones in New Zealand where genetic modified crops were not allowed in order to protect particular local industries such as kiwifruit.

"The Green Party disagrees with the Royal Commission that GE-Free zones will actually work in the long run to prevent contamination of organic or conventional agriculture. We know that these organisms won't stay where you put them, and that pollen and bees will eventually lead to contamination of non-GE crops.

"However GE-Free zones have been extremely effective in stopping approval for field trials of GE organisms in some states in Australia, and send a strong statement to the Government about what the people want.

"Let's use this opportunity to demonstrate our desire for a GE-Free nation. Rodney can be one of the first districts to support not only organics but a GE-Free future for our nation," she said.

Ends


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