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Greens will not be diverted from real issues

Greens will not be diverted from real issues

The Green Party will not be diverted from the real issues facing the country over the Government's proposals to end the GE moratorium, the Green Co-Leaders said today.

"We are playing the issue, not the person. We reject personality politics and will continue to fight against GE releases on the issues, the facts and the truth," Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald said.

"Our objective is, as it has always been, to protect our food supplies, the New Zealand environment, our export markets and public health against the release of unpredictable, unstable and untested plants and animals.

"We urge the Government once again to reconsider its steadfast determination to allow the moratorium to expire on October 29. We ask the Government to adopt the precautionary principle and extend the moratorium for at least five years.

"The Government is sublimely confident in the ability of the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA) to effectively manage GE releases once the moratorium lifts," Ms Fitzsimons and Mr Donald said.

"But progress reports show that ERMA is still not up to the job. An independent review in July clearly revealed fundamental flaws in ERMA, which showed it is not capable of effectively managing GE releases.

"A progress report from ERMA to the select committee considering the New Organisms and Other Matters Bill, tabled in Parliament yesterday, shows that ERMA is in denial that there is a problem and can point to no concrete, practical action to improve its operations.

"If the public can't even have confidence in the regulator, how can it have any faith in safe release? This is too important an issue to leave to chance.

"New Zealand is clearly not ready for GE releases outside the lab. The Government must extend the moratorium."

ENDS

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