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Small town stands up to GE scientists

Small town stands up to GE scientists

Residents of the rural Rodney District community of Leigh will rise up on Sunday 16 February to make a peaceful protest against a visit to their town by pro-GE scientists.

They are decorating their tiny town with anti-GE and pro-organic signs and banners, celebrating their district’s status as an organic-friendly region.

The visiting scientists include GE potato experimenters Dr. Marjie Gilpin and Dr Tony Conner of Crop & Food Research, both of whom have a history of misleading public promotional claims for GE potatoes. The Leigh residents will present the two scientists with a sack of gorgeous, organic, GE-free potatoes at l0:30 am Monday (to reinforce the message that New Zealanders do not want GE in their fields or food).

Another speaker at the conference is Dr Daniel Cohen, leader of HortResearch ’s inadequately contained GE tamarillo trial in Kerikeri. Despite strong criticism by the Royal Commission into Genetic Modification, the site still hasn't been cleaned up or even studied for the horizontal gene transfer in soil that is one main concern with such experiments. Dr Cohen speaks on Wednesday 19 February, at 11:10am re: “Virus resistant tamarillos: what did we learn from the field trial?”

The NZ branch of the International Association of Plant Tissue Culture & Biotechnology Conference runs from 5pm, Sunday 16 February to 12pm Wednesday19 February. Refer to the following link for details: http://www.hortresearch.co.nz/conferences/iaptcb/programme/ The conference is being held at the Leigh Sawmill Café, 142 Pakiri Road, Leigh http://www.sawmillcafe.co.nz Leigh is about one hour's drive north of Auckland.

GE Free Rodney and GE Free Northland said GE technology is unproven and unpredictable, with serious unresolved liability issues. It would expose NZ agriculture to irreversible biological and financial risks if we follow the USA’s badly mistaken example and release genetically engineered plants and animals into the environment.


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