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Lies, Damn Lies

Wednesday 10 July, 2002, Auckland: The cover-up exposed today in Seeds of Distrust is an outrage. This illegal, dishonest and unacceptable series of events resulted in the contamination of our sweetcorn and environment, Greenpeace said today.

A committee of the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA), the Ministry for Agriculture and Fisheries (MAF), big business and the Government conspired to keep crucial information from the public.

“The Government is guilty of lying to the public about GE contaminated sweetcorn, and refusing to rectify the situation by removing the crop. For all their cautious words, they have actively allowed a release of GE corn into our environment. This shows the collusion of big business and the Labour Government and it’s pro-GE agenda,” said Annette Cotter, Genetic Engineering campaigner today.

“The Government knowingly allowed GE contaminated seeds to be planted here during it’s own Royal Commission of Inquiry into Genetic Engineering. The Government has misled the Royal Commission. If they’d been honest to the Inquiry, the Report may have been very different. This revelation makes a mockery of that whole process.

“To add insult to injury, ERMA assisted the Government in the cover-up by withholding critical information from the public during the Royal Commission.

“ERMA is a body that is touted as being the most stringent in the world. Now they’ve allowed GE to be grown illegally. ERMA clearly cannot be trusted.”

Seeds of Distrust raises more serious questions about our biosecurity. “What else has been contaminated? Is this season’s corn contaminated with GE?” said Cotter.

“Urgent action is needed to address this crisis. The Government must act immediately to ensure New Zealand’s biosecurity has a regime of zero tolerance to GE contamination. The crop sites must be immediately decontaminated. Every seed shipment that comes into the country must be tested for GE contamination,” said Cotter.

“The revelation of GE contamination revealed today is not a justification for saying it’s all too late and that New Zealand should accept GE. The Government must take every possible action to eradicate this contamination and ensure a GE Free future,” Cotter concluded.

Contact: Annette Cotter 021 565 175 Vanessa Atkinson 025 927 301

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