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GE Ads. High On Emotion And Short On Facts

"Exploitative" Life Sciences Network GE-campaign high on emotion but short on facts.

The Life Sciences Network is itself guilty of "modifying" facts in their full-page advertising campaign in today's papers, says Jon Carapiet, a spokesperson for GE-Free NZ (in food and environment). The "facts" summarised in the advertisement are presented in a way that is likely to confuse the debate by obscuring other important information. The emotional tone of the advertisements is also unlikely to promote sensible debate about the real issues.

The Life Science Network lobby-group seems content to ignore the fact that many other "mothers of young children" have had "a devastating time" when they discovered unlabelled and untested GM ingredients were already being sold into the food supply. This undermines the organisation's credibility in claiming the industry have always intended to give people a choice about the food we eat.

Mr Carapiet says he is disappointed that the industry is using PR spin, instead of engaging in a proper debate with the community about the benefits of using GM in containment, and discussing the threat from commercial release of GE in New Zealand.

" They are entitled to their opinion, but I wish the Life Sciences Network folk would come out and engage in a fuller debate about their claims. I challenge them do so," said Mr Carapiet.

FACT- 50% of our economy is directly derived from the land, but insurance companies are unlikely to cover damage to our farming industries and export-reputation from GE release.

FACT- "continued, controlled, safe research" on GE technology is entirely possible under a policy that keeps GE in the lab, and which keeps our food and fields "GE-Free". This could be a unique biotechnology strategy for New Zealand.

FACT- The millions of acres of GE crops overseas have been an export-disaster for farmers involved and many are pleading to Monsanto, and other backers of the Life Sciences Network -to stop the introduction of GE wheat, now being planned.

FACT-Health concerns about consumption of GM products have been clearly substantiated. US authorities tried to ban human consumption of Starlink corn because of its allergenic properties, but it spread into the food chain anyway. The British Medical Association has warned against use of anti-biotic resistance as markers in GM food, yet this continues even as new resistant bacteria emerge.

FACT- people will have NO choice in what they eat if GE foods continue to be allowed to spread through the global food chain. The Life Sciences Network already admits the supply for some products is so contaminated that it is becoming impossible to guarantee GE-free food and seed-supplies.

FACT- companies with a history of causing illness and damaging the environment do not have much credibility in claiming their motivation to release GE is " to help make New Zealand - and the world- a better place".

The emotional tone in the advertising relies on cynical exploitation of Margy Gilpin as a hero-victim but ignores the thousands of the other victims of poisons produced by companies who may be helping to fund the Life Sciences Network. Thousands of people have committed suicide in India as a result of debt to agri-business and there are warnings of a serious threat to global food-security from 'Terminator' technology, designed to create barren seeds as a way of controlling gene-patents.


Media contact- Jon Carapiet- 09 815 370

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