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GE food call way out of whack with reality: Greens

9 June 2008

GE food call way out of whack with reality: Greens

It is inappropriate for the president of the World Organisation for Animal Health to go in to bat for genetic engineering, says the Green Party.

"Genetic engineering of animals - such as the various GE cow trials going on in New Zealand - are a serious animal welfare concern as they involve doping cows up on hormones, harvesting eggs surgically, killing those cows and implanting embryos surgically in surrogate mothers," Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

"Promoting GE grains for animal feed in order to increase world food production is blind to the reality that it is feeding grain to animals that is contributing most to world hunger. It takes 13 kg of grain to produce 1 kg of beef.

"Grass-fed meat from New Zealand's hill country which cannot grow grains is sustainable. Free range chickens with some supplementary feeding is sustainable. Feeding grain to feedlot cattle and caged chickens - instead of people - is not.

"New Zealand has a big advantage in sustainability because our sheep meat and most of our beef is grass-fed. It would be a tragedy if we increased the practice of feeding grain to cattle instead of producing it for human food.

"If we want enough grain to feed the world then the meat industry should focus on feeding livestock with grass."


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