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Greens challenge Hobbs to go to Canada

Greens challenge Hobbs to go to Canada

Green Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons is challenging Environment Minister Marian Hobbs to go to Canada with her to see first-hand the damage the GE industry is causing to organic and conventional farmers.

"Ms Hobbs regularly holds up Canada as a country where GE and non-GE crops can co-exist quite happily, and where there has been no damage to export demand for non-GE products," Ms Fitzsimons said today.

"But the reality is quite the opposite. Canadian organic farmers are suing GE canola developers for the loss of their organic canola market due to GE pollen drift.

"And papers released by Canada's Department of Agriculture and Agri-Food show that the European Union is effectively closed to all Canadian commodity canola due to GE."

The papers also show that Canadian consumers are worried they can't distinguish between GE and non-GE products. And there are concerns over damage to "Brand Canada" from GE.

The papers were released under Canadian official information laws, and publicised in New Zealand this week by the Sustainability Council.

"I challenge Ms Hobbs to get on a plane with me and go and talk to Canadian farmers whose livelihoods are being ruined by GE, and to consumers who are confused and concerned," Ms Fitzsimons said.

"This would be a much better use of Ms Hobbs' time than her planned trip on Friday to Palmerston North to address a GE Forum, where most of the audience are likely to be scientists already in favour of GE.

"Rather than preaching to the converted, Ms Hobbs should be investigating the reality of GE in countries where it has already been a disaster."

Green MP Sue Kedgley asks Parliamentary Question No. 9 on the subject today.

ENDS

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