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NZ Govt’s Anti-EU Action Misguided

NZ Govt’s Anti-EU Action Misguided

The New Zealand government's decision to join with the US in taking the European Union to the WTO over its policies on GM foods is a misguided step that will unravel the high-standing of the New Zealand Brand internationally.

The decision is likely to hit headlines around the world given the widespread consumer resistance to GM foods, which the WTO complaint aims to force onto the market. As such it presents New Zealand in a very poor light that undermines our image, and credibility as a democratic and fair-minded nation.

"This is not just about hurting the feelings of countries across the world who want to control the spread of GE foods. This is about denying people their basic human right to choose what they eat, and about undermining New Zealand's standing with the international community," says Jon Carapiet, from GE-Free NZ in food and environment.

"Prime Minister Helen Clark has described herself* as the "brand manager" for New Zealand. As an expert in brand-marketing, every marketing organisation I can think of would recognise the decision as completely inept. She would probably be fired, or at least sent for re-training."

"By joining with the US in this attack on good science, consumer rights, and environmental protection the government is undermining our reputation as surely as they would if they were to demand the spread of nuclear power, or nuclear warships to unwilling countries," says Mr Carapiet.

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