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Sustainability Council Stand On GE Welcomed

Support for Prominent New Zealander's Stand on GE and National Party's 'Rethink' on moratorium. Government urged to release new Liability report.

GE-Free NZ (in Food and Environment) is welcoming the stand by prominent New Zealanders to have the moratorium on release of Genetically Modified organisms extended for 5 years, and believe the Royal Commission proposals for GE releases are already out-of-date.

Equally welcome is National Party leader Bill English's comments on National radio's "Morning Report" that his Party is open-minded about extending the moratorium.

But the Labour government is to be criticised for misleading the public about a new report into Liabilty for GE damage, which they have so far refused to release.

"The Sustainability Council of New Zealand is standing up for what most New Zealanders are wanting. People want a halt to the mad rush to spread GE into the environment, and ethical uses of GE to be controlled in the lab", said Jon Carapiet, a spokesperson for GE-Free NZ (in Food and Environment).

" It is not just organic but conventional farmers- the backbone of our economy- who are threatened by GE releases", said Mr Carapiet. " Developments are happening so fast that key elements of the Royal Commission report are now out-of-date"

COMMISSION'S CONCLUSIONS OUT-OF-DATE

"Since the Royal Commission new evidence is emerging, that supersedes the Commission's conclusions about co-existence. Mexican government scientists have confirmed GE contamination of the world's centre of diversity for Maize. There is more evidence that GE pollen will spread widely, soil will be contaminated, and markets will be lost if we go 'GE' in our farms", said Mr Carapiet.

ROYAL BACKING FOR PROMINENT NEW ZEALANDERS' STAND

Mr Carapiet says the Council members, including Sir Peter Elworthy, former president of Federated Farmers, and Professor Garth Cooper, are in good company in speaking out against GE release.

"They are adding their voices to a long list of international public figures that includes His Royal Highness Prince Charles, and respected scientists such as David Suzuki, members of the British Medical Association, and many government scientists around the world."

However, GE-Free NZ (in Food and Environment) is concerned by misleading comments by Minister Pete Hodgson during an interview on National radio, concerning a Liability report on GE damage from the Crown Law Office.

"He seemed to be suggesting the Liability report was not yet ready. In fact we understand the report was finished weeks ago but is being held back by the Attorney General Margaret Wilson".

" We have been asking for the report but have not received it. We fear that that the government is deliberately delaying its release or attempting to suppress discussion of its findings," said Mr Carapiet.

ENDS

Media Contact: Jon Carapiet 09 815 3370


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