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Anti-GM Advertisement 'Dishonest'

Monday 17 Jun 2002

"Pure Food Coalition's emotive anti-GM advertisement in this mornings New Zealand Herald featuring a human head on a sheep is dishonest and an affront to the scientific process," says ACT Deputy Leader and Health Spokesman Ken Shirley.

"The ad's claim that any commercial release of GM organisms will contaminate our food is the worst form of scare mongering.

"With the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act, New Zealand has one of the toughest regulatory process in the world controlling the release of GM organisms. The Environmental Risk Management Authority, which administers the Act, takes a very cautious approach to ensure that only safe and appropriate technology can be released and that the public safety is in no way jeopardised.

"GE organisms play an important and increasing role in medical science and it is interesting to note that the Pure Food Coalition studiously avoids condemning this use of GM technology even though the science is identical.

"I call upon the Labour Government to publicly refute the motive claims of this organisation and openly support the appropriate use of GM technology. The ad is clearly to attract to Labour voters to the Green Party and the challenge facing Labour is to front up and clearly state their position.

"This campaign is a foretaste of the type of emotive and misinformed pressures that could be exerted by the Greens should a left of centre government be returned.

"I am surprised that the Herald has run this this ad and I will be laying a formal complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority," concluded Mr Shirley.

Ends

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