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Auckland GE Free Coalition Notice Of Protest

Auckland GE Free Coalition

22 March 2002

Protest over GE-release law 'that doesn't make sense" targets Labour candidates

Where: Titirangi War Memorial Hall, Titirangi When: 8.30-9.30 am, Saturday

A Public Vigil will be held outside the regional Labour Party conference, this Saturday morning, to protest against legislation, which automatically lapses in October 2003, and allows the approval of commercial releases of Genetically Modified organisms to begin.

Supporters from Auckland's GE-Free Coalition will be giving a message to Labour MPs and potential list candidates, that allowing the law to lapse "automatically" doesn't make sense.

There is public concern that it is illogical to allow approval of GM releases to begin without any consideration of results from research recommended by the Royal Commission and adopted by the government in its response. This research includes:

- Economic damage from loss of "GM-free" exports - Denying consumers choice by allowing 1% GE even in organic food - Treaty of Waitangi issues - Public subsidy of liability for GE-uses refused cover by commercial insurers - A Biotechnology strategy allowing ethical GM applications in containment

The legislation in question is the HSNO Amendment Act 2001,currently before a Parliamentary Select committee. The bill states in Part 2: Release and field testing of GM organisms," clause 73A: "Restricted period is a fundamental term defined to mean the period...ending on the close of 29 October 2003", so paving the way for approval of commercial release.

Text of message to Labour MPs follows: Dear MP's and delegates, Why is a law being passed that AUTOMATICALLY* lapses allowing approval of commercial release of GM / GE organisms from OCTOBER 2003 ? It doesn't make sense. Why allow a law to lapse automatically when we do not have the results of research into vital national issues. (as above) Signed: Auckland GE-Free Coalition on behalf of all concerned citizens.

ENDS

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