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March 15th World Consumer Rights Day

Media advisory- March 15th World Consumer Rights Day- Focus on GM - New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand Consumer Rights groups will be backing World Consumer Rights Day 2003, 15 March, to highlight the issues on genetically modified foods and the methods used by companies to control the food we eat.

The government's efforts to support GM-free labelling as recommended by the Royal Commission, appear to have stalled.

Recent comments from GM scientists have proposed all food may need to allow GM contamination to allow commercial GE releases to " co-exist"

"Consumer groups concerns' around genetically modified (GM) foods no longer centre only on issues of food safety and the environment. The pressing issue now facing consumers is the way in which agribusiness is using GM technology to consolidate its control over global food production", says Dr. Sothi Rachagan, Asia Pacific Regional Director, Consumers International.

David Russell from the Consumers Institute said their work would continue behind the scenes. He supported consumer choice to choose GE Free, whilst admitting limitations of labelling for processed foods and stated, "GE is a matter of consumer choice, a lot of absolute nonsense is being written by the industry; some of their claims fail to stand up to scrutiny. He said the use of transgenic organisms needed containment and described their use as 'scarey stuff'

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