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Alliance Urges Reason All Round On GE Moratorium

23 May 2002

Alliance Leader Laila Harré said today that the only beneficiaries of the non-negotiable stance being taken by both Labour and the Greens on GE will be right wing parties and those supporting the unrestrained development and release of GMOs.

She was responding to the Green Party announcement that it would block confidence and supply for a Government after October 2003 when the present moratorium expires, and the Prime Minister's response that the expiry of the moratorium is non-negotiable for Labour.

"If this were played out it would mean that either National could get support from the Greens if it extended the moratorium or there would be continuous elections until the Greens no longer had any influence at all.

"This brinkswomanship is very serious.

"Two-thirds of New Zealanders oppose the release of GMOs but Labour are saying that they want an absolute majority in Parliament so that GMOs can be released into the environment after October 2003. On the other hand the Greens are taking an all or nothing approach. Given that both Labour and National support the release of GMOs after October next year they will most likely win nothing, not all.

"The Alliance is as determined as the Greens to prevent the release of GMOs into the environment after October next year. We negotiated the first moratorium and we negotiated the extension until October 2003. We want to go back into government with a mandate to keep negotiating for more GE-free time. The longer the moratorium is in place then the more time we have for science to reveal what the issues are without risking environmental or health disasters."

The Alliance failed to win support in Parliament for an amendment to the HSNO Bill which would have extended the moratorium indefinitely. Liz Gordon is now preparing a private members bill to this effect.

Ends


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