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Another Victory For GE-Free As Monsanto Backs Off

The Green Party have welcomed news that genetic engineering giant Monsanto has bowed to international pressure and offered to help plant breeders create crops using traditional methods.

"Monsanto should show that this is more than a PR stunt for the UK market and call off their genetic engineering field trials in New Zealand," said Green Party Agriculture spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street.

Monsanto has offered to open up its databases to help plant breeders cross-breed new crops without the use of genetic engineering. The announcement came after Monsanto requested meetings with the British Soil Association.

Mr Ewen-Street said Monsanto's change of heart showed how surprised the company was at the global rejection of genetic engineering and was a "major victory for the GE-free food lobby."

"The significance of this announcement shouldn't be underestimated," said Mr Ewen-Street. "This move shows that concerted public pressure has forced Monsanto to fundamentally rethink their position on genetic engineering."

Ian Ewen-Street said although the development was welcome, it was hardly surprising. "Genetic engineering is, quite simply, bad economics," he said. "Huge international markets are rejecting genetically engineered crops and food in favour of safe organically grown produce. The public have seen through the GE industry's public relations misinformation.

"This technology is on the way out. Nobody wants it. New Zealand must recognise this now and declare ourselves a genetic engineering free nation," said Ian Ewen-Street.

"Our future advantage lies in producing the cleanest, safest food in the world, not embracing technology that other countries cannot get rid of fast enough."

"Now the question must be asked - why are Monsanto prepared to back down overseas while still vigorously pursuing genetic engineering in New Zealand?"


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