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Supermarket Owners Heavied By Auckland Bosses

Many supermarket managers are uncomfortable about a pro-genetic-engineering pamphlet they are being forced to give to shoppers, Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today.

Supermarkets around New Zealand are being approached by Green Party members and the group Revolt Against Genetic Engineering (RAGE) during a week of action against the pamphlets.

Hundreds of thousands of the light-green coloured brochures, headed GM Foods - Answers to Your Questions, have been published by the Grocery Industry Council, and many are being automatically placed in shoppers' bags by supermarket staff.

"The paper purports to be unbiased but uses language of the United States-based food and chemical giant Monsanto," Ms Fitzsimons said. "Some supermarket managers have told us that while they find the pamphlets biased, they haven't any choice but to give them to shoppers, because the supermarket chain bosses, mostly in Auckland, have ordered them to do so," Ms Fitzsimons said.

The Green Party, RAGE, the Safe Food Campaign and Greenpeace have all been trying to provide more balanced information for consumers on the issue, and a handful of supermarkets have agreed to take brochures from the party and the groups.

"Most supermarkets are declining to stock our pamphlets without authority from their head offices, which are preventing individual managers from even commenting publicly on the issue of genetic engineering," Ms Fitzsimons said.


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