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Fitzsimons Needs GE & Geography Lesson



Fitzsimons Needs GE & Geography Lesson

Libertarianz leader and Coromandel candidate Peter Cresswell today accused Green Party leader Jeanette Fitzsimons of spreading "misinformation" about a recent North American court case involving genetically modified canola, and telling a "big lie."

Fitzsimons announced that "a US court" has ordered "Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser … to pay Monsanto around $80,000 after the company's genetically engineered canola was found growing on his fields. Pollen from neighbouring GE crops had blown onto Mr Schmeiser's fields and contaminated the seed he traditionally saves from his conventional crops."

Cresswell suggests she "check her facts." "First," he says, "the court was in Saskatoon, Canada, not the US. If Ms Fitzsimons checks a map for the difference," notes the Libertarianz leader helpfully, "she will notice that Canada is just to the north of the US."

"Second," says Cresswell, "the case is about unlicensed use of a patented product. Shmeiser knowingly planted his fields with seeds he knew were Monsanto's Roundup-ready Canola. He knew because he had tested some of his 1997 seed, and then specifically stored the Roundup-ready seed to plant in 1998 The Canadian court held that Mr Shmeiser 'infringed Monsanto’s patent by growing,in 1998, seed that Mr. Schmeiser knew was from his 1997 crop and was from plants that were Roundup resistant.' In other words, he knew what he was doing."

"This case was not a GM scare story," says Cresswell, "it was one where a Canadian farmer was caught trying to get something for nothing." Cresswell drew attention to the comments of former Greenpeace director Patrick Moore when testifying at the recent Royal Commission in this country: "the public has been misled over the risks of genetic engineering … I find my former organisation has adopted policies in a number of areas I believe to be very off track, wrong-headed, and illogical."

"They're not the only ones," noted Cresswell today, pointing the finger at Fitzsimons' Greens. "It seems that Jeanette Fitzsimons is as off track as she is geographically challenged. She doesn't just get her science wrong, she gets her facts wrong. But let unchallenged, this story would be let to become just another of the Greens' 'big lies.'"


For more information contact:

Peter Cresswell LIBERTARIANZ SPOKESMAN FOR DEREGULATION OF THE ENVIRONMENT Phone (025) 861 927, E-MAIL: organon@ihug.co.nz


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