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Demo Kicks Off Campaign To Keep GMO Moratorium

Press Release - For Immediate Release July 10th 2003

Demo kicks off campaign to keep GMO moratorium permanent

Organisers of a demonstration in Wellington this Saturday ( July 19th) say the government will face fierce opposition if it ends the moratorium on the release of Genetically Modified Organisms.

"There are too many unanswered questions regarding the threat posed by GMOs to New Zealand's environment to end the moratorium now" says Emily Bailey, spokesperson for the Harakeke Eco Collective which is organising the march.

"The refusal of the insurance industry to insure against damage resulting from GMO release highlights the unquantifiable nature of the risk, and also raises the question of who will pay for clean up costs when damage occurs.

"The government is pursuing an agenda set by the GE industry and is dismissing public opinion as irrelevent.

"New Zealanders are very aware of the dangers of introducing new organisms into our fragile environment. From possums to painted apple moth, deliberate or accidental biosecurity breaches have resulted in a damaged environment and a huge bill for the taxpayer," she says.

"ERMA's approval system for GMOs remains a mess and safeguards for the environment have not been put in place. The government is recklessly dropping the moratorium regardless," says Bailey.

The demonstration is calling for the GMO moratorium to be made permanent, for the government to withdraw support for the US government's WTO case against European opposition to GE foodstuffs and in favour of safe and controlled lab-based research.

March to Parliament Assembles Te Aro Park (Pigeon Park) 12 noon, Saturday July 19.

For more information contact Harakeke Eco Collective on 385-6728 e-mail: harakeke@wildmail.com

or

Emily Bailey: (04) 976-4663 or 385-6728 Jonah Marinovich: (04) 389-0472 Sam Buchanan: (04) 976- 4663 or 385-6728

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