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Government has got to be joking

Government has got to be joking

The government’s decision to limit liability while setting minimum buffer zones that will allow for the GE contamination of conventional and organic agriculture has been labelled a joke by GE Free Canterbury spokesperson Tremane Barr.

“The UK Minister for the Environment has just pledged that UK organic and conventional farmers should have the right to compensation if their products are damaged or made unsellable from neighbouring farmers using genetically modified organisms. The fact that they are considering changing the UK law prior to full release of GMOs into their environment makes a mockery of the NZ government’s decision to go ahead and allow for GE release and contamination straight away without automatic right of economic compensation for any harm caused.” said Tremane Barr.

UK Environment Minister Michael Meacher has said "We need to consider how best to protect the interests of all farmers, including organic farmers,” and that their "approach to GM must be compatible with the government's ambitions for the expansion of organic farming: to increase the UK's market share of organic produce sold in the UK from 30 per cent to 70 per cent."[1]

“Despite the GE Free conventional and organic food sector continuing to grow as a high quality high value market segment all around the world it appears that this NZ government wants our farmers to go compete against the vast commodity producing nations like the USA whose GE products have been rejected with a resulting drop in their GE and conventional crops prices to all time lows.”

Meanwhile the news of GMO contamination continues to only get worse with the latest admission from Walter Fehr an agronomist and director of the Office of Biotechnology at Iowa State University who has said that genetically engineered varieties of staple crops like corn and soybeans have contaminated seed stocks all the way to the "breeder seed," the purest version of a crop variety. If breeder seed contains material from genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, all the seeds and plants that descend from that stock will contain GMOs as well. According to Fehr, transgenic contamination of breeder and other seed stocks "happens routinely."[2]

“Despite the increasing evidence of widespread GMO contamination of conventional and organic agriculture from North America and the British Medical Association and other independent scientists calling for a worldwide moratorium on GMO crops until safety questions are answered the NZ public will be left with no choice, but to eat GMO contaminated food products. This government is hell bent on risking our export economy and the health of consumers and for what? A free trade deal with America?”

“Labour say trust us we know what we are doing, however, in the latest article on Corngate by Steven Price in this months Metro magazine his investigations clearly show why Labour cannot be trusted and sheds some light on in whose interest this current decision was made. In the conclusion of his investigation into Corngate Price says, ‘Lobbied by seed companies, officials and ministers invented an illegal tolerance regime based on a dubious rationale and let the crop go when it should have been checked further’, and as a result of this for Price Labours, ‘election-time denials have planted in me a whole new bag of seeds of distrust.’”

“Clearly this government has learnt nothing from the Corngate debacle. After this decision the public can clearly see in whose interests the government has been, is, and will continue to operate and that as such they cannot be trusted. On top of all this they still haven’t revealed whether they are going to act to permanently ban human cloning and genetically engineered designer human beings, but I guess they must still be waiting to be told what to do by some business lobby group.” said Tremane Barr.

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