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Farmers warned - speak now or risk losing markets

GE Free New Zealand
In Food And Environment Inc.

PRESS RELEASE – 18 February 2002

" Farmers warned - speak now or risk losing markets. Government indecision letting GE spread"

Farmers are being warned to speak up now, or see their business undermined, and markets lost. The warning comes as Government’s indecision to actively protect NZ's biosecurity from GE organisms threatens the future of farming exports for years to come.

In past studies by AFFCO, 70% of farmers said they supported conventional, organic and NON-GM methods to advance their businesses into the future. But current legislation, and approvals makes that future uncertain.

Ge-Free NZ ( Food and Environment) are urging Farmers to wake up and make their views known about the use of newly-approved GM vaccines in pigs, GE cow experiments in open fields, and the planting-out of GE pine trees in an experiment admitted by authorities (ERMA) as likely to contaminate soil fungi.

" Farmers are having their livelihoods put at risk. Federated Farmers are supporting GM options when that approach is a direct threat to all conventional farming, as well as organics. " said Jon Carapiet, a Market consultant and spokesperson for GE-Free NZ.

Our pork farmers are having their business threatened by approval of GE growth hormones that not even the American's have OK'd. The cow version of growth
hormones is linked to cancer, as well as serious animal welfare issues that damage our countries marketing image. It use was refused, when European concerns over its use were feared to have impacts on our export potential.

Experiments on cows now before ERMA from CRI AgResearch, are to be for up to 10 years in open fields, for cloning GE cows with human, mice, sheep goat, deer and other unspecified genes, the cows carrying the GE foetuses will be sold off as meat.

This trial may also compromise our overseas markets.

The GE pine trees are to be planted out in the next few weeks, ERMA have admitted soil contamination of fungi is likely. The government funded Forest Research Institute intends to continue their 20 year trial, despite Carter Holt Harvey’s aims to proceed with Forest Stewardship Council approved production. Forest Stewardship Council endorsement bans the use of GE technology.

More information:- Jon Carapiet-09 815 3370


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