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Greens support call to extend GE moratorium

Greens support Marlborough call to extend GE moratorium

The Green Party supports the call from Marlborough District Council for the Government to leave the GE release moratorium in place.

Green Agriculture Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street MP today saluted the wisdom of the council in joining other local authorities to urge caution from the Government on GE.

"Letting GE out of the laboratory and into the field creates a legal minefield, and raises all sorts of economic, liability, biosecurity and coexistence questions that the Government has simply been unable to answer.

"More and more councils are asking the Government to hold fire on lifting the moratorium till it is able to give clearer direction on how the law will work," Mr Ewen-Street said.

"Farmers are the people whose livelihoods are most at risk should something go wrong with GE, but the insurance industry refuses to cover them - along with only war, nuclear accident and terrorism - showing what dangerous territory the Government is venturing into.

"Farmers are also rightly concerned that the Government's own economic impact report shows that embracing GE would have dire consequences for rural communities," Mr Ewen-Street said.

The Marlborough council raises its concern in its submission on the legislation setting out controls for the scheduled October lifting of the moratorium, the New Organisms and Other Matters Bill.

The submission notes that the community has reasonable expectations that GE organisms should, in appropriate circumstances, be able to be managed on an area basis, to protect the GE-free status of local produce.

NZPA reports Marlborough councillor John Craighead saying that the moratorium should remain in place until the matter is settled, so that any potential for area management is preserved.

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