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Labour's "Miracle" GM Policy Fatally Flawed

24 June 2002

Crunch -time for Labour's "Miracle" policy for agriculture as Australians admit GE-Free zones are doomed.

The Labour party policy to allow some regions to be GM-Free as recommended by the Royal Commission has been signalled as fatally flawed by an announcement from the NSW Agricultural Minister Richard Amery that GM-Free agricultural zones cannot co-exist with GE releases.

" It supports the view that Labour will need to be Miracle-workers to do what they are claiming- which is to manage a GE-release strategy, as well as preserving our non-GM options," said Jon Carapiet, a spokesperson for GE-Free NZ ( in food and environment).

"The Australian Minister is saying that based on current overseas evidence the government cannot be expected to make co-existence work," said Mr. Carapiet

While some Australian states have not ruled out attempts to preserve GE-Free production, Mr Amery is reported as telling the Sydney Morning Herald that co-existence strategies are "unworkable".

Mr Amery said:"There is conjecture about buffer zones and exclusive zones, but until someone can put up a proposal that shows it can work it unrealistic to expect the Government to do it."

GE-Free NZ( in food and environment) is calling on the Labour Party to be honest about their GM stand: they must get off the fence on whether they are allowing full-scale GE releases, and if so, explain why, when it clearly threatens our non-GM agricultural sector.

"All the signs are that this is an all-or-nothing issue, not a case-by-case one" said Mr Carapiet. " We do not believe Labour are able to work a Miracle that no-one else has managed to do."

Australian conventional and organic farmers have warned of "significant financial losses and economic problems" because of GE contamination. Australia has now been hit with a series of applications for release of GE crops, including canola, directly threatening their growing GE-Free exports to world markets that will not buy GM crops.

Media Contact Jon Carapiet -815 3370

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