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Warning Of Voter-Rebellion Over GE-Release Date

28 March 2002

Government Warned Of Voter-Rebellion Over GE-Release Date

The Labour/Alliance government is being warned by community-groups supporting a" GE-Free" food and environment that they will face massive voter-rebellion at this years election if they pass a law allowing commercial GE releases to be approved from next year.

The HSNO Amendment Bill is to be reported back to Parliament by the Finance and Expenditure select committee today. Amongst many contentious clauses that put the environment at risk from Field trials and medical-use release of live GE vaccines, the government is also including a clause that allows full commercial releases of genetically engineered organisms to be approved from October 2003.

' We are putting the government on notice that the electorate will rebel if they allow this plan to proceed", said Jon Carapiet from GE-Free NZ ( in Food and Environment).
" the Royal Commission said we should not ban the technology but must proceed cautiously,.. to most New Zealanders that means ethical research and applications for medical use in containment. What it does not mean is full releases into our environment
next year."

There is wide scale support to keep GE uses in containment for the foreseeable future and for New Zealand to develop a unique strategy for science and technology that suits our clean green marketing image, community values and consumer choice.

"The government must not give in to biotech- corporate pressure to put in place a date for approvals of GE releases to start next year. If they do, they must also expect voters will notice that release date is just one year away from the likely date of the election. The campaign to contain genetic engineering technology and apply it ethically is not going away. Labour will force the voting-public to rebel at the polls if they pass this legislation."

ENDS


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