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Value for Kiwi exporters in following Tasmania’s lead

Value for Kiwi exporters in following Tasmania’s GE-free lead

New Zealand should follow the Tasmanian Government's lead and have a moratorium on genetically engineered (GE/GMO) crops and animals to give food and agricultural industries the best market advantage, Green Party Primary Industry spokesperson Steffan Browning said today.

Tasmania announced yesterday that it would extend its moratorium on GE indefinitely to give its agricultural industry an advantage in marketing to increasingly food-safety conscious consumers.

“There is a huge, premium market for GE-free products that New Zealand should be targeting,” said Mr Browning.

“Tasmania’s smart approach has given it access to a high-value market whereas other Australian states have accepted some GE crops such as canola, which has caused contamination, market rejection issues, community discord, and loss of opportunity for non-GE producers.

“A permanent ban on GE would enhance New Zealand's image. New Zealand has no GE commercial crops or animal production at present with just two GE field trials and one legal GE equine influenza vaccine. We could go further than Tasmania and ban the GE field trials and release of GE vaccines.

“Tasmanian beef producers exporting to the USA celebrated yesterday's announcement and New Zealand producers should also be able to profit from the GE-free advantage.

"Resistance to GE food is building in the USA and the market for GE-free food is already well established in Europe. Asian markets are also becoming more and more sensitive to food safety issues. The best value for New Zealand exporters can be gained by reinstating a GE moratorium," said Mr Browning.

ends

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