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GE Moratorium Should Stay On Foodstuffs Says Peter

Media Release

28 August 2003

GE Moratorium Should Stay On Foodstuffs Says Peters

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has announced that his party has not been convinced that the GE moratorium should be lifted on foodstuffs.

Mr Peters pointed out that New Zealand First votes helped establish the blanket moratorium to allow work suggested by the Royal Commission to be advanced.

“We believe that whilst a moratorium on foodstuffs continues to be justified, we should now be able to continue to advance this technology in areas such as medicine and pest control.

“Importantly, given New Zealand’s dependence on exports of foodstuffs, we need to take an ultra-cautious approach over applications which involve products entering the human food chain.

“New Zealand First is not convinced that all the necessary systems are yet in place to provide the critical analysis of the impact of decisions on food products to ensure the safety of consumers.”

Mr Peters said that the moratorium on foodstuffs should be extended for another year to allow officials to design and implement more robust systems and procedures and to allow ERMA time to demonstrate it has the capacity to ensure the safety of all GE products.

“The fact that the Cabinet has demanded officials devise a robust system of economic analysis shows that all is not right. If officials are not required to report back until 31 October 2004 then the Government’s timetable is putting the cart before the horse.

“The only solution is to retain a limited moratorium on applications relating to foodstuffs and we will strenuously argue for this course of action,” said Mr Peters.


ENDS

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