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Sustainability Council campaign anti-democratic

Sustainability Council campaign anti-democratic

The campaign by the Sustainability Council to stop the production of food products derived from genetic modification is anti-democratic the Chairman of the Life Sciences Network, Dr William Rolleston, said today.

“The Sustainability Council wants to impose its own choice on every New Zealand farmer, grower, exporter and consumer and not allow those people to make their own choices.

“In doing this they misrepresent the results of their own survey. The Colmar Brunton survey does not say 80% of New Zealanders want us to grow only GM free food (emphasis added). It actually says NZ should remain a GE free food producer until our markets change.

“Growers can retain their GE-free food producer status without restricting the right of those who want to grow GE crops to do so. The fact there are some people who produce food products derived from GE does not make those who choose to be GE-free in their own production methods anything other than what they choose.

“There are no GE crops in New Zealand at the moment but we are not GE-Free. Many New Zealanders already eat products every day containing constituents derived from genetically engineered crops such as soy and corn - widely used in manufactured or processed foods. The same situation exists in Europe.

“For us to claim we are GE-free is a lie and we would be building our international reputation on a falsehood, is that what the Sustainability Council really wants?

“About 30% of Europeans have said they are happy to eat foods derived from GE – that is a sizeable market of many millions of consumers. We would be foolish to ignore that market and the possibilities it has for New Zealand producers who want to use products which have been through the most rigorous safety testing programme of any food product we eat.

“European consumers already eat thousands of tons of beef from the US and Argentina which are two of the major users of GE products in agriculture. It is truly illogical to say that European consumers will discern against New Zealand products because we don’t have a GE ban in place.

“To deny some growers, farmers, any exporters the opportunity to develop those markets and give choice to European consumers is anti-democratic,” said Dr Rolleston.

ENDS

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