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Greenpeace Still Waiting On Nestle

April 20, 2000 – Auckland: Greenpeace is still waiting on Nestle to make a commitment to remove genetically engineered (GE) ingredients from their products, after Nestle refused to join Greenpeace at an organic breakfast outside Nestle’s Headquarters in Auckland this morning.

“Nestle declined the offer of organic hot cross buns, muffins and coffee” said Tricia Allen, Greenpeace campaign director. “It is time Nestle New Zealand faced up to the fact that GE food is not needed and not wanted”, said Tricia Allen.

Greenpeace revealed three weeks ago today that at least one of Nestle’s products, Carnation instant soy drink, contains Monsanto’s genetically engineered RoundUp Ready soya.

Nestle in several other parts of the world, including Hong Kong, the UK and Germany, have already made the commitment to ensure that none of their products contain GE ingredients, in response to consumer concern.

“Greenpeace will continue to invite Nestle in New Zealand to make the same commitment to their consumers in New Zealand”, said Tricia Allen

There are serious environmental concerns over genetically engineered crops which are planted for use in human and animal food. Once genetically engineered organisms are released into the environment, they cannot be recalled, risking genetic contamination of the environment.

Meanwhile, in the UK a jury acquitted 28 Greenpeace volunteers of charges of theft after part of an experimental crop of GE maize was cut down on 26 July 1999. The maize was cut down and sealed in bags as part of a campaign to prevent genetic contamination of the environment. The jury failed to reach a verdict on charges of criminal damage.

“The prosecution could not convince the Jury that these people were guilty of criminal damage and we are delighted that their honesty has not been called into question with the acquittal on the charge of theft. It is disappointing for all the defendants that the charge of criminal damage is left hanging over them but we will simply have to wait on whether the Crown Prosecution Service will seek a retrial”, said Peter Melchett, Executive Director of Greenpeace UK.

While the “Greenpeace 28” stood trial, GE technology continued to retreat in the face of popular opposition, with over a thousand GE-free zones declared just in Norfolk, ranging from cottage gardens to large commercial farms.

For more information contact Tricia Allen at Greenpeace New Zealand on (09) 630 6317 or 025 790 817 . For information on the “Greenpeace 28” contact Blake Lee-Harwood on + 44 07801 212 969 (mobile) or +44 171 865 8255/6/7/8 (press office) and visit the Greenpeace international website: www.greenpeace.org. Pictures of the organic breakfast are available from Greenpeace New Zealand.

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