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New Zealanders have Progressive option

11 July 2002

Jim Anderton, Leader

More progress – less threats
New Zealanders have Progressive option

“The Greens’ tactics and threats, show that the Progressive Coalition is the best option for a coalition with Labour,” says Progressive Coalition leader Jim Anderton.

“If the Progressive Coalition is re-elected with sufficient numbers we will continue sensible progress with Labour while not making unrealistic and destabilising threats.

Jim Anderton says he is appalled at the tactics and hypocrisy of the Greens, on GE, of New Zealand First on immigration and other parties like ACT on crime and its causes.

“New Zealand voters have to make an important decision on who to vote for in an environment engineered by cynical manipulation of the political agenda by scare tactics based on fear, ignorance and bigotry.

The public should not be fooled by a “shock-horror” book published by a Green candidate (Potton) in the middle of an election campaign.

“This is a Government that acts on the best evidence available, not on scare stories.

“The suggestion of a Government cover-up on corn seeds is rubbish. The final scientific advice to Government was that it could not be established that there was one single imported seed which had been genetically modified.

“Once these facts were known on best advice, this Government made public the fact of the possible ‘contamination’ of seeds, briefed the Greens, briefed the Royal Commission, and put in place the world’s first and most stringent testing standard to enable reliable testing of imported seeds.

“That standard was welcomed by all concerned.

“Nicky Hager has taken a debate amongst scientists about how to ‘prove’ something, and turned it into a conspiracy theory. It is rubbish.

“It is double-rubbish to think that this Government changed the rules as a result of big-business lobbying. There is not one single bit of hard evidence put forward for that thesis and there never could be – it did not happen.

“In the same week we have heard Winston Peters again attacking refugees and immigrants as not contributing to our society while evidence suggests the contrary. ACT is pushing lunatic policies which would increase levels of crime while locking people up but at the same time opposing building prisons.

“Helen Clark has said there is a place for me in Cabinet so any MPs I am elected with will be part of Government, and the Progressive Coalition is committed to more progress but not holding the Government to ransom.


Testing issues made simple

In some of the early tests in late 2000, ONE of the bacteria markers was present which can show GE. But that marker can also show other forms of bacteria, which have nothing to do with GE. To know with any kind of reliability that there is actual GE contamination, it is necessary to show TWO bacteria markers. And given that testing is done on a random basis, how can one ever be sure that sufficient samples have been tested to “prove” anything?

To have any kind of certainty, it was necessary for there to be a testing regime to establish a standard of evidence.

New Zealand introduced a standard of testing to enable reliable decisions to be made. That standard was at the time the most stringent in the world, and on scientific advice, it has since been further tightened.

It is simply false to suggest that this Government modified the zero-tolerance rule for GE organisms, and ‘tolerated’ a low level of contamination. What we did, was establish a test where there was previously none – and that was welcomed by all concerned.

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