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Former UK Environment Minister Speak s On GM In NZ

Former UK Environment Minister visits NZ to speak on GM

Auckland 4 August 2003: Former British Environment Minister Michael Meacher is visiting New Zealand to speak about the release of genetically modified (GM) crops.

Mr Meacher is also giving evidence to the Education and Science Select Committee in Wellington on Wednesday regarding the New Organisms and Other Matters Bill, which is designed to pave the way for GM releases.

Michael Meacher was Minister for the Environment in the Blair Labour Government until the recent reshuffle in June. In an impressive career he has served as a minister and frontbench opposition spokesman for 27 of the past 29 years.

Even as Environment Minister in a pro-GM Government, Michael Meacher has been forthright in expressing his concerns about the lack of scientific evidence to support the release of GM into the environment and food chain. Meacher has said previously said that GM crops are "neither safe, nor necessary, nor desirable."

Mr Meacher is fresh from a trip to Canada where he witnessed first hand the levels of GM contamination in Canadian fields. He is in New Zealand for three days from Tuesday 5 until Thursday 7 August.

Mr Meacher is likely to appear before the select committee in Wellington at 9.45am on Wednesday 7 August and will also give a public lecture on Wednesday evening at 6.30pm at the Victoria University Law Faculty in the Old Government Buildings at 15 Lambton Quay (LT 1, around the back of the building).

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