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Soil on Parliament Steps Today. Keep it GE Free

Soil on the Steps of Parliament Today Keep it GE Free

CAPITAL GE FREE Media Release October 18

Soils from 30 places around the country were presented to Acting Prime Minister, Jim Anderton, the Minister of Conservation, Sandra Lee, and the Minister for the Environment Marian Hobbs (represented by David Benson-Pope) today.

The soils were entrusted to the Ministers by farmers and families with the explicit request that the Government legislate to prevent the release of GMOs into the environment for field trial or commercial purposes.

The soils were transported in a solemn procession from the Environmental Risk Management Authority in inner city Wellington to the Parliament. The soils were mixed on the steps of parliament and potted with native saplings.

Mixing the soils were Stuart Edwards of Bio-Gro, David Wright of the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Association and Dave Treadwell of Soil and Health Association.

Soils are a particular hot spot of concern concerning the impacts of GMO release. Massey University soil scientist Dr. Neil MacGregor said "The fate of transgenes from plant and animal residues entering the soil biological system is largely unknown and unexplored."

Stuart Edward of Bio-Gro said, "Without significant research into the effects of GM technology on the soils, we may compromise all sectors of the New Zealand agricultural industry.

Our markets have clearly given us a message that if we release GE crops on a commercial scale, they will seek their products - conventional or organic - elsewhere."

Edwin Dando, spokesperson for Capital GE Free said "A knowledge economy is only strong when intelligence and commonsense steer decision-making and research. The release of GMOs into the soils and environment would be a false and foolish economy indeed."

"The creation of top soils takes millions of years. They are precious. Let's protect them by keeping GE in the laboratory," he said.

Edwin Dando, tel: 021 1652 669

Stewart Edwards, Bio-Gro, tel: 04-801 9741

Dr. Neil MacGregor, Massey University, 06-356 9099 ext 7433 or 06 357 1184

Capital GE Free Keep it in the Lab

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