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Govt Sacrifices Truth In GE Scare-Mongering

21 June 2002

Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today Science Minister Pete Hodgson is deliberately misrepresenting the Green Party line on GE in an attempt to boost Labour's chances to govern alone.

"Mr Hodgson today stooped to touting hypothetical promises and half-truths. While it is election season, I would have expected the normally rational and good-humoured Minister to have had more respect for himself and for the truth.

"He obviously has had orders from on high to stir up irrational fears about any influence the Green Party might have over a future Government. I've worked constructively with the Minister in the past and I'm looking forward to the two GE debates I have scheduled against him in the next fortnight."

Ms Fitzsimons said Mr Hodgson's accusation that the Green Party would stop vaccines being given to New Zealanders was completely wrong.

"Our bottom line is the extension of the moratorium. The moratorium has an exemption for vaccines, as the Minister well knows, because he wrote it."

She said it was telling that the only way the Minister can justify releasing GE organisms is by coming up with a bunch of imaginary promises.

"None of his hypothetical new organisms are even an option for release in the next three years. The only GE releases ready to go are the poorly performing crops of the multi-nationals, which would inevitably contaminate both organic and conventional farms.

"Where does he recognise the existing value of New Zealand's clean and green, 100% pure reputation, which would be wiped out if GE release went ahead? Absolutely nowhere.

"The public know that we have to value and protect what we've got; recent polls show two-thirds of the public say they want GE kept in the lab. Those stats are consistent with the Royal Commission poll, which found people were in favour of caution.

"It's not science we mistrust, but the misuse of science by big corporates in league with big government pursuing big profits. We are not ready for a scientific dictatorship in this country, any more than we're ready for a political one."


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