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GE Free Food Logo Needed

10 January 2002

GE Free Food Logo Needed For New Zealand Quality Agricultural Produce.

As more New Zealand companies start to label their products GE Free in response to customer concerns both at home and overseas, a NZ GE Free symbol internationally recognised has been suggested by major producers.

“Our government should acknowledge this growing demand instead of secretly supporting North American directives to do away with GE and GM Free labels. New Zealand has been proud of its agricultural economy and it is time the government helped our growing GE Free markets rather than continually trying to undermine them,” says Susie Lees of GE Free New Zealand.

The response of some major supermarkets, to the recently introduced labelling regime, has been to try and support shoppers by sourcing GE Free ingredients for their house brands. Other companies have started to label GE Free, such as Tegel, their chicken products described as having been produced without the use of GE feeds.

“This is good news for consumers, at last companies are seeing the light and responding to consumer concerns, how long will it take for our government to do the same? If there is uncertainty about the growing of GE crops, then how come they are on our supermarket shelves and we are still being forced to eat them,” says Susie.

The aim to avoid GE foods continues in the UK, EU, Australia, Japan, China, New Zealand and elsewhere as people choose to avoid GE foods because of the lack of full assurances of safety and adequate clinical trials, some countries even refusing the import of transgenic crops.

The unethical production methods of patented GE crops are also a cause for concern and in many countries the public are demanding to know where trial sites are grown. In New Zealand a shroud of secrecy surrounds GE trials, the public still being denied information as to their whereabouts, recent last minute pre Christmas changes to the Resource Management Act may also prevent all but immediate neighbours being informed and for any complaint being brought before the Environment Court.

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