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Zero Credibility For Labour's Zero Tolerance

Zero Credibility For Labour's Zero Tolerance

Wednesday 3 Sep 2003 Ken Shirley Press Releases -- Environment & Conservation

Prime Minister Helen Clark and Environment Minister Marian Hobbs' repeated claims that the Government policy of zero tolerance for GM contamination in food crops is now patently absurd, ACT New Zealand Deputy Leader Ken Shirley said today.

"The memorandum marked `urgent in confidence', dated 27 February 2001, and addressed to the Minister for the Environment, makes it clear that inadvertent releases of very low levels will be tolerated," Mr Shirley said.

"This memorandum also drew to Ministers' attention that this situation could, in no way, be construed as a simple continuation of existing policy. In the view of the officials, it represented a policy shift which, in their opinion, probably required a legislative change to formalise.

"In spite of that advice, Ms Clark and her Ministers continue to assert that they are maintaining zero tolerance, and repeatedly claim that officials have told them there is no GE contamination.

"This is demonstrably untrue - and the Prime Minister and her Ministers with responsibility for GM issues must know their claims to be untrue.

"At the time of the last election they committed the crime of omission. Now that they have been sprung, they refuse to admit their wrongdoing and instead continue the litany of deceit," Mr Shirley said.


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