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Don’t lift your moratorium says Canadian GE farmer

Don’t lift your moratorium says Canadian GE farmer

Former GE farmer Bob Willick has a simple message for the New Zealand Government: “don’t lift your moratorium on GE release”. His message to New Zealand farmers is: “don’t be sucked in by the false promises of the biotech corporations”.

As the New Zealand Government is about to announce their co- existence strategy for GE release in New Zealand, a former GE grower from Canada, Bob Willick and his wife Barbara, on a brief visit to New Zealand, says “the idea of co-existence is just slick corporate deception.”

“Once you release GE it will spread and then they say you just have to tolerate a small level of contamination, but that’s not what people want. The corporations don’t respect the peoples wish to eat GE free, they just want to sell more chemicals and profit from the patented seed premium.”

“We can’t grow canola organically or non-GE anymore in Saskatchewan because of GE spreading through the fields.”

Bob Willick is a canola farmer from Saskatchewan, a former conventional grower and grower of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready GE canola who has recently converted to organic farming.

Bob and 960 other organic farmers are mounting a class action against Monsanto and Bayer seeking to recover damages associated with the release of GE canola in Canada (1).

“Farmers are now battling to stop the release of Monsanto’s GE wheat in Canada and the States (2). Here in New Zealand you can avoid the GE problems altogether by keeping your moratorium in place. Your GE free foods and crops are worth a premium in the global market.”

Bob is visiting New Zealand following a tour of Australia (3), where he has spoken about liability issues, the economics of Roundup Ready canola, and the reality of GE and conventional co-existence in Canada. Bob will be speaking with Federated Farmers today.

http://www.saskorganic.com/ Bob Willick will be available for media interviews on Friday 14 March.

(1) Two organic farmers filed a claim on behalf of all certified organic grain farmers in Saskatchewan on January 10 2002. The class action suit calls for: * Compensation for the damage caused to certified organic farmers resulting from the introduction of GE canola into the rural environment; and * An injunction to prevent the introduction of GE wheat. (2) 210 North American organisations are campaigning against GE wheat release including the Canadian Wheat board. The Australian Wheat Board (responsible for 12% of Australia’s rural exports) has also called for a moratorium on the release of GE canola because they are concerned it will harm their export markets. (3) As a result of consumer and farmer lobbying in Australia, the Labour Party Senator for NSW Bob Carr (expected to be re-elected in state elections on 22 March) has recently pledged to ban the growing of GE food crops for three years.

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