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Fitzsimons Takes GE-Free Vision To Farmers

12 June 2002

Green co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons will visit the Mystery Creek Agriculture Fair on Friday morning to explain the party's position on genetic engineering to farmers.

Ms Fitzsimons will be at the Green Party stall from 10am Friday morning. Green Agriculture Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street has been there all day today and will also be there on Friday and Saturday. Ms Fitzsimons and Mr Ewen-Street will be available to discuss the party's Agriculture policy with the media.

"Farmers are the front line of the genetic engineering debate," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"It is farmers that trade so heavily on our clean, green, GE-free reputation and they know the value of preserving that."

Ms Fitzsimons said over two thirds of the rural sector believed the future of New Zealand farming was with organic production instead of genetic engineering.

"Farmers know that overseas genetic engineering has been a disaster for agriculture, they understand the very real risks of cross contamination and they understand the importance of retaining our GE-free status.

"The Greens and farmers have a lot in common. Many of our members and MPs are farmers. We share a respect for the land and we understand why overseas markets want our produce," said Ms Fitzsimons.

"We will be letting farmers know that unless the Greens can stop it, the moratorium on the release of genetically engineered crops and animals into the environment will automatically be lifted next October.

"It is very much in the interests of farmers to stop this happening and we will be asking for their support to stop it," she said.

Ends

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