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Long History Of Industry Deception

Life Science Lobby's Attack On Consumer Advocate Part Of Long History Of Industry Deception

GE-Free NZ ( in Food and Environment) totally reject the attack by Life Sciences Network Chairman on consumer advocate Jon Carapiet for raising concerns about misleading research.

" Sadly it seems that the industry PR machine will stop at nothing to spin the data, " said Mr Carapiet who says that he is upset by this attack on his professionalism as a researcher.

The dispute has arisen after media publicity for a new report by HortResearch made claims that seemed to be misleading.

" The LSN claim the research shows this and that but as it hasn't even been made public yet, it is the PR spin about the findings that are of most concern," said Mr Carapiet.

" I have spoken to Dr Gamble about her methodology which did not explain to respondents the different techniques being used to modify genes. The results, I feel, are likely to be misleading because at least one of the questions confused the issue of transgenic GE with traditional breeding which is also a form of "GM" that has existed for centuries" said Mr Carapiet.

Mr Carapiet is concerned that the attack by Life Science Network is part of a long-running campaign to confuse consumers about the technical difference between genetic engineering and traditional cross-breeding.

" I actually agree with the Life Sciences Network that people do not reject all gene technology. I have never claimed that this was the case. We have been eating modified food like selectively-bred apples for thousands of years. But Dr Rolleston is wrong to claim that means transgenic plants and animals are equally acceptable. Certainly the summary in the media, and my conversation with the researcher indicates that the research does not show that. Given the study has not even been released I cannot understand how he can make any claims for its findings." said Mr Carapiet.

Dr Rolleston says "The research clearly shows New Zealanders are comfortable with the idea of improving the taste of apples by using gene technology to insert genes from other apples.

" Frankly- I could have told you that for nothing. But what it doesn't tell you is whether people feel differently if this is genetically engineered - ie. using a viral vector and antibiotic marker genes that would remain in the food. The claim of public concern about sprays is also relevant to GE food, given that herbicide-resistant GE crops result in up to 200 times more chemical residue in our food," said Mr Carapiet

' I have never asserted once, let alone frequently (as Dr Rolleston states) that 'most New Zealanders are against GM technology'. It is the release into the environment which insurers refuse to cover because of the incalculable risk, and the secret introduction of GE food into the food chain without testing or labelling -that most people are against. That is what explains the national call to keep it in the lab" said Mr Carapiet.

More info Jon Carapiet 09 815 3370

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