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GE Action Update 37 - get ready to march!


GE Action Update 37 - get ready to march!

GE Free Action Update 37

Kia ora koutou,

Hundreds of people continue to work hard all over the country organising various events leading up and beyond the moratorium in all of the major centres. Try to get to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch or Dunedin for the big marches on the 11th of Oct – please spread the word as widely as you can! Details in the ‘Upcoming GE free events’ section or www.thebigmarch.net

The third and final reading of the Noom bill is on the 7th of Oct so now is a good time to lobby your MPs of join in with activities planned in the capital on the day. Check out the ‘what you can do’ section to get ideas of how to participate and make a difference.

There are some important things happening internationally with a clear rejection of GE but British public and an ‘antitrust’ case being allowed against Monsanto. Check out the international news section.

Thanks,

MMP GE Free Networkers –melmaibpete@lycos.com or gefree@wildmail.com

**************************

INDEX:

1 WHAT YOU CAN DO:

2 NEW RESOURCES:

3 UPCOMMING EVENTS:

4 WHATS BEEN GOING ON FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY - NEWS:

4 WHATS BEEN GOING O N FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY - ACTIONS:

6 REQUESTS FOR HELP:

7 MEDIA WATCH:

8 IMPORTANT DATES:

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1 WHAT YOU CAN DO / ACTION IDEAS!

******************************************************************

*JOIN IN THE BIG MARCH:

Participate in the upcoming marches in Wellington, Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin on October the 11th and get as many people as you can along to these events. Organise car pools to the closest march from your areas and pop a few posters up in local shops / schools etc.

See upcoming GE Free Events for the details.

******************************************************************

*LOBBY MPS NOW:

>From Wellington:

Make an appointment and go & visit your MP! Sure letters are good but they can all too easily just fob you off with a form letter reply - face to face they have to answer your questions and be polite to you because they want your vote!! Face to face you have the opportunity to have a discussion - correct/inform them on the issue because sadly, as we have all feared, it turns out that some don't know very much about the issue at all!!

I am more than happy to help supply people with sound examples of media releases/documents/etc that will assist people to stress their concerns to their MP's.

It is important that we lobby Labour and United First and it is even more powerful if you go in as an "individual" rather than a GE Free-er or a MAdGEr or the likes. Such visits from the concerned individual, ironically, really rattles them so PLEASE if you think you are up for it - there is a very likely chance you will know more than them!! - let me know, and I'll help you get together some bits.

Call me if you need a hand!

kara@wetafx.co.nz

387 5785

‘GE Resource Kit for local activists – lobbying MPs’ Available from blair.Crafar@parliament.govt.nz (04) 4706727 by email or post:

For a list of MPs contact melmaibpete@lycos.com

*********************************************************************

*’CHAT’ WITH MARIAN HOBBS

Wednesday, 1 October @ 7pm. http://www.headsup.co.nz

‘Join our (government) live chat sessions on Wednesdays during October and talk directly to government MPs. First up, from 7 - 8pm on 1 October, is Minister for the Environment, Marian Hobbs, who will be taking questions about the expiry of the GM moratorium or any other environmental matters you wish to raise. Other Wednesday chats during October will feature Health and Food Safety Minister, Annette King, and Minister for Research, Science and Technology, Pete Hodgson.

To chat on the web, register at www.headsup.co.nz

You can also TXT chat - it's free. Just follow the instructions on the website.’

*************************************

*HIKOI WITH A TWIST:

>From Dunedin Coalition for a GE Free Environment:

’We would like to encourage all groups to gather small quantities of your treasured seeds. Then starting in the far south we would progressively send them from town to town, accumulating each towns as they go, until we reach Blenheim. The final stage of this journey has yet to be finalised.

The symbolic passing on of the seeds could be by mail, courier or by people who are travelling the route.

An important aspect of this would be the publicity along the way. If each seed person or group can achieve media coverage in their area, as the seeds are travelling up the South Island, we can repeat the core messages for a GE Free Environment in NZ. We would also be reminding people of the Hikoi travelling to Wellington and have seeds converging on Wellington from both North and South and this would create the added opportunity for inspiring people to action in their local areas.

We have still to work out the details of this – but please send us your thoughts and we can work out a timeline and collection points etc. We also need lots more contacts especially in the smaller towns.

Please email Dennis at topveges@xtra.co.nz to confirm your interest or for further information on the proposals outlined above.’

Contact for Hikoi is Kei Munroe kei-munroe@xtra.co.nz or mgraf@ihug.co.nz

Contact "The Seed Carriers" seedcarriers@pl.net

****************************************************

*SIGN THE PSRG OPEN LETTER TO THE GOVERNMENT:

PSRG invites anyone who supports their position to sign their 2003 Open Letter to Government; copy pasted below and on www.psrg.org.nz.

PSRG is urging government to reinstate the Moratorium on the release of Genetically Engineered Organisms into the New Zealand environment by amending the NOOM Bill. You can sign up on www.psrg.org.nz or add your signature using snail mail. Contact Jean roberta@clear.net.nz

Overseas signatories welcomed. You do not need to be a scientist or medical professional to add your signature.

Please circulate widely deadline - 16 October 2003

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*TAKE 5:

Vote with take five. If you already have, try to spread the word to other people you know. Join the 30 000 other kiwis at www.take5.net.nz or txt your name and town to 8642.

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*GE FREE REGISTER:

‘Are you concerned about the government allowing GE crops into the environment? If so there may now be a way that you could make a valuable contribution towards preventing this, not only around your own place but nationally as well.

The national GE Free Register is a map of New Zealand that shows every property whose occupier wishes to preserve their individual GE Free Status.

The idea is that you sign up on the register at www.gefreeregister.co.nz then a circle is drawn around your place on a map of NZ with a radius of 8kms. The 8kms represents the range that bees will fly to collect pollen. The actual database of registered properties is never published, nor are your details ever given out. However, anyone who looks at the map who may be thinking about planting a GE crop, will be put on notice that this is not a good place to do that. You are effectively putting the onus on the potential contaminator not to plant the crop in the first place. A letter will soon be available on the GE Free Register website that you can send to farmers in your area to warn them of your desire to remain GE Free and that they could be held liable for any financial losses that you accrue. For example by losing your GE Free status for conventional farmers or your organic statu

The map is being used to show Local and Regional Councils the level of anti GE feeling in their areas, to encourage them to make planting GE Crops a "notifiable activity" or to declare their region "GE Free" or "Organic friendly". It can also be used for putting pressure on local MP's as the map is divided into electorates. It can be used to show ERMA where there is likely to be the most resistance to planting GE crops and it shows farmers where they could possibly face litigation if they contaminate neighbouring

properties.

If we can get enough people in New Zealand to register and join up all the 8km radius circles. It will make it very difficult for Monsanto etc. to find an area where they can plant GE crops and it makes it really hard for the government to justify lifting the moratorium. Already we have almost covered Northland and the Coromandel.

Please take a few minutes to register your property (it's free) and please use this letter to encourage everyone in your address book to do the same.’

Thanks for your help.

GE Free Register

www.gefreeregister.co.nz

************************************

*THE PETITION:

The closing date has been extended to October 20. Set up a petition at your local shops / school / workplace.

Contact susanjohn@pl.net

*******************************************

*LOBBY YOUR COUNCILS:

There are a number of tools and resources available to help you with this and make it clear and easy in your local areas. If you need any help in accessing these resources contact melmaibpete@lycos.com and we’ll put you in touch with the right folk.

Check out the recent successes Rodney, Kaipara and Porirua have had.

******************************************

2 NEW RESOURCES:

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*DEBUNK THE “GE WILL FEED STARVING PEOPLE” MYTH:

Check this out:

Report slams US 'moral crusade'

23 September 2003

http://www.fwi.co.uk/article.asp?con=12334&sec=18&hier=2

********************************************

*DEBUNK THE ARGENTITINA IS A MODEL OF COEXISTENCE MYTH

contact melmaibpete@lycos.com

******************************************

*GE SELLOUT BOOK:

’A new book that claims the Royal Commission on GM was primarily an expensive, elaborate “PR exercise” whose outcome was a foregone conclusion.

.

THE GE $ELLOUT is $9.95. Fid it at your local book store or ring (09) 828 2823 or email: jon.boy@ihug.co.nz

*************************************************

*SEEDS OF DOUBT:

>From Queenstown:

http://www.soilassociation.org/seedsofdoubt

If anyone was interested in lastweeks seeds of doubt posting contact richard@missionsnet.org

*****************************************************

*GE FREE RADIO

>From Raglan:

'Under the Radar' on Raglan Community. The show is basically an underground news show devoted to broadcasting information that corporate mainstream news sources fail to get into. At the moment we are focusing on the GE issue in a big way.

The show is broadcast on Raglan Community Radio 96.6FM Thursday's 11am - 1pm and Recall 88.4FM in Hamilton - Midday, Sunday. As well as this is it streamed on the web at the Under the Radar site www.raglan.net.nz/utr. The last 2 shows are on permanent rotate there and include interviews with Greg Mendez of Take5, Danyl Stripe of Indymedia and Carmen Gravatt of Greenpeace who was involved in the Ingham's mill closure.

As I said the show is available on the net but if there are other community or micro radio stations (or heaven forbid - commerical stations) that could play it I would be more than happy to arrange for this to happen as the main reason starting the show was to help spread accurate and in depth information.

I'm interested in interviewing as many people as possible within the GE free movement with the purpose of countering the mainstream's cartoon view of the 'crazed' activist as well as providing a forum for them to get their message across. Since there are no commerical dictates to the show we go as in depth as is necessary as well. It would be great if you could let people know the show is out there for them to make use of. My email is utr@raglan.net.nz.’

***********************************************

*BIG GE FREE POSTER UPDATES:

For those of you who have a copy of the large Hawkes Bay GE free poster, an update of upcoming events for the corner is available.

Contact veezil@xtra.co.nz

********************************************************

3 UPCOMING GE FREE EVENTS:

*****************************************************

*MARCHES ACROSS THE COUNTRY!!! 11 OCTOBER:

Take to the streets and bring your frieds and family. Please spread the word widely.

The new march website is up and running ... flyers and posters (for the big GE FREE MARCH coming up fast!) and web banners are now available to download. www.thebigmarch.net

________________

Auckland:

Join the Big March in Auckland! 11 October

12 Noon, bottom of Queen St. Auckland.

http://www.thebigmarch.net

________________

Wellington:

Join the Big March in Wellington! October 11th

Meet at Civic Square at 12 noon, march to Parliament.

Music, activities, family fun – Join us in the Capital!!

Organised by the Wellington GE Free Coalition

Contact melmaibpete@lycos.com and we’ll put you in touch

________________

Dunedin:

Join the Big March in Dunedin! 11th Oct

12pm at the octagon march to the museum

Banners, drums etc all very welcome

Organised by the Dunedin Coalition for a GE Free NZ

contact markbonar@nzoomail.com

We plan to have as many "Seed Carriers" as possible march from the Octagon to the Otago Museum, where we will make a symbolic handing over of our treasured seeds to the Museum for safekeeping. The message will be that if the moratorium is lifted, the only safe place to keep our GE Free seeds - and preserve our GE Free status - will be in a museum. We think that this will have a powerful impact - clearly illustrating the reality of GE release, and presenting a strong connection to the Hikoi "Seed Carriers" and their message.

We are sending this idea out to you all, as we feel this would be a great way of bringing all New Zealanders fighting for a GE Free Environment together on the 11th. It seems that historically GE Free action gets greatest media coverage when Nationally co-ordinated. Individual key actions particularly in the south, have not in the past gained even a moment on National Television. We want to show that the entire country is actively against GE. We would ask you all to consider similar action in your towns and cities on the same day.

_________________

Christchurch:

Join the Big March in Christchurch! 11 Oct

2 pm, at the Museum

Organised by GE Free Canterbury

Contact Paul: ph. (03) 379 2257 paul@environment.org.nz

www.gefreecanterbury.org

[NB: this march has been moved forward from Sunday 19 October].

_____________________

**************************************************************

*WELLINGTON TENT CITY:

Yes it’s on!

Come to Wellington for Labour weekend for a fun filled few days at a peaceful, entertainment filled camp at parliament grounds. Bring your messages to Helen and her groupies and be with us if the moratorium expires on the 29th.

Organised by the Wellington GE Free Coalition

Contact melmaibpete@lycos.com and we’ll put you in touch

***********************************************

*NOOM BILL 7 OCTOBER

Third reading is on the 7th (unless it gets changed again…)

Activities in the capital at parliament – if you want to join in contact valerie.morse@paradise.net.nz

****************************************

*PUBLIC MEETING WELLINGTON:

Genetic Engineering- why take the risk?

‘Public support for extending the GE moratorium has turned into a tidal wave that the Government can no longer ignore. The moratorium is due to lift at midnight on October 29. Why take the risk?

7.30pm, Tuesday, 7 October St John's Church, cnr willis and dixon st

Speakers: Green Party MP Sue Kedgley,

Organic retailer Jim Kebbell, and

Kara Vandeleur, from MAdGE

For more information please contact 381 4640

**********************************************************

*PALMERSTON NORTH:

Steve Mahary will be at the Science Centre on the 10th of October.

****************************************

*ERMA NATIONAL ROADSHOW:

National Roadshow - Managing Genetic Modification in New Zealand; understanding the issues; making it work

November National Roadshow

Hamilton Quality Hotel

100 Garnett Avenue, Hamilton. 4-5 November

Auckland Centra

Cnr Kirkbride & Ascot Roads, Mangere. 6-7 November

Palmerston North Quality Hotel

110 Fitzherbert Avenue, Palmerston North. 11-12 November

Wellington Convention Centre

111 Wakefield Street, Wellington. 13-14 November

Christchurch Holiday Inn

356 Oxford Terrace, Christchurch. 18-19 November

Dunedin Public Art Gallery

30 The Octagon, Dunedin. 20-21 November

Registrations and enquiries should be directed to:

Tina Suter ERMA New Zealand,

P O Box 131, Wellington.

Tel: (+64) 4 918 4825 DDI, or (+64) 4 916 2426.

Fax: (+64) 4 914 0433.

Email: roadshow@ermanz.govt.nz.

http://www.ermanz.govt.nz/news-events/focus/gm-roadshow.asp

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4 WHATS BEEN GOING ON AROUND THE COUNTRY

***********************************************

*GE FREE REGISTER:

The GE Free register is getting more and more registrations daily. Over 1800 acres was registered in just one day last week. Ads for the register will be appearing in on the 5th of October in the Sunday Star – keep an eye out. Thanks to Chris, Kara, Jean and Sarah.

Legal issues have been sorted out. more info contact melmaibpete@lycos.com

*************************************

*MADGE ORDERED TO PAY:

Lobby group rages at GM court costs

NZ HERALD

23.09.2003

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?reportID=53009

‘The mothers' group that stripped in Parliament to oppose genetic modification has been ordered to pay $24,000 in legal costs to the country's biggest genetic researcher, AgResearch.

Mothers Against Genetic Engineering (Madge) said it had only $5000 and would have to run cake stalls to raise the rest, or close down.’

***********************************************

*PSRG:

PSRG launched a paper this week by Dr Peter Wills which analyses relevant new evidence that has appeared since the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification (RCGM) delivered its report.

A 'shorter' Executive Summary also available. Please feel free to circulate these intact to any interested parties. Contact:

Jean Anderson

Secretary

Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics

www.psrg.org.nz

roberta@clear.net.nz

*********************************************

*COUNCILS:

Rodney have now announced their intention to partner Kaipara in creating a ge free zone!!!

Porirua is also getting closer to being GE Free:

‘The motion got through Porirua's environment committee now it has to pass the hurdle of full council…’

****************************************************

*SEED CARRIERS HIKOI:

The Seed Hikoi from Rienga.

’We’re past the half way mark now and finding ourselves looking forward more and more. We know now that there is another Hikoi coming from the far south, where seeds have been gathered from many gardens in the bottom of the south island and brought to join us in Taupo. There is another one joining us in a couple of days when we walk past Kopu Thames.’

Keep in touch with where they are up to with their newsletter and by checking out their website: www.koanga.co.nz seedcarriers@pl.net Phone (09) 4312204 (Gail) or (09) 4312 765 (Jude).

‘Top of the South’ seed hikoi. Contact the Nelson Environment Centre nec@tasman.net or 03 545 9176

***********************************************************

6. REQUESTS FROM ROUND THE COUNTRY:

***************************************

*URGENT: WELLINGTON ACTIVITIES:

>From the Wellington GE Free Coalition

We need money, resources and support to get the Tent embassy going down here in the capital. For all or you who have been sending messages about ideas for action in the capital now is your time to really help us out.

We also really need people to help with postering and banner painting and a whole lot of other fun jobs! Please contact melmaibpete@lycos.com

*****************************************

*URGENT: GE FREE REGISTER:

’If you have any spare time and want a great holiday in Whangarei where Chris will put you up in exchange for some data entry type work. Please get in touch.

We are seeking donations to help the GE Free Register clear a few debts and to help fund some advertising. We are running our first advertisement in a national paper shortly that has been funded through donations from GE Free groups and generous individuals and would like to run an advertising campaign in the farming press as well. Cheques to GE Free Register can be sent to PO Box 1803, Whangarei or transfer directly to the GE Free Register account # 03 0498 0584700 000’

************************************************

*SEED HIKOI - FUNDING:

‘We really appreciate the help and support we are getting from you good people out there. Mounting this campaign costs us upward of $100 per day. We need your help to stay on the road. Even the smallest amount will help! If you can donate to help us get our message through you can deposit funds into our bank account Seed Carriers A/c, ASB Bank Wellsford , A/c No12 3094 0172711

************************************************

*MMP GE FREE NETWORK:

thanks for those who replied – will be in touch soon

***********************************************

7. MEDIA WATCH:

*************************************************

*Check out the GE Info Bulletin no.15 out now and the 90 degrees website for more news.

*****************************************

*PRINT:

*NZ HERALD:

letters to editor (maximum 200 words): email: Letters@nzherald.co.nz

fax: 09 373 6421

Big insurer refuses GE farm cover

27.09.2003

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/storydisplay.cfm?storyID=3525771&thesection=news&thesubsection=general

‘New Zealand's second-biggest insurer, Vero, will not cover farmers for liability against damage or injury from the use of genetic modification technology.’

*DOMPOST:

letters to editor: letters@dompost.co.nz

Fonterra buys licence to use dna

MONDAY , 15 SEPTEMBER 2003

http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,2658883a7693,00.html

‘Dairy giant Fonterra has become the country's first firm to buy a licence from a genetics company that has controversially patented human dna.’

*LISTENER:

Marian Hobbs’s ….. well thought out article…

’Out to pasture - The lifting of the GE moratorium does not mean that New Zealand will become a giant open-air laboratory.’

http://www.listener.co.nz/default,758,751,1.sm

***********************************************

*GE FREE NZ PRESS RELEASES:

see: http://www.gefree.org.nz/news.htm

27. September, More proof that Government must legislate to preserve GE free production

24. September, Scientists back extension of GE moratorium in challenge to ERMA

24. September, No Resolution of Problems in Sight

23. September, Otago GE research confirms national interest in protecting GE-free food supply

****************************************

*GREEN PARTY PRESS RELEASES:

http://www.greens.org.nz/docs/press/

29 Sep 2003, GE profit-makers should bear the cost of cleanup

GE companies should have to pay for any cleanup when GE goes wrong, Green Co-leader Jeanette Fitzsimons said today.

26 Sep 2003, Leaked memo shows no insurance for GE

A memo leaked to the Green Party shows that New Zealand’s biggest insurance company has moved to deny insurance cover for any harm resulting from Genetic Engineering.

24 Sep 2003, GE report says Royal Commission advice now dated

A new report out today shows that the science the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification relied on in recommending New Zealand “proceed with caution” on GE is now considerably out of date.

*************************************

*SUSTAINABILITY COUNCIL PRESS RELEASES

Financial Fitness Should be Requirement for GM Release

September 29, 2003

http://www.sustainabilitynz.org/news_item.asp?sID=130

********************************************

*PSRG Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics:

24 September

No Resolution of Problems in Sight

Dr Wills reports that the Commission’s report was deficient in its expectation of what further research was likely to uncover or how events would unfold.

www.psrg.org.nz

*********************************************************

INTERNATIONAL:

*Whats going on in the EU:

version

BELGIUM: September 26, 2003

*Anti Trust Case:

http://www.mindfully.org/Industry/2003/Monsanto-Antitrust-Seed24sep03.htm

CHICAGO, Sept. 23 - A federal judge on Friday let proceed an antitrust case that accused the Monsanto Company and other big agricultural seed giants of conspiring to control the world's market in genetically modified crops. Judge Sippel allowed the antitrust portion of the case to proceed, possibly setting the stage for a court battle over whether the world's biggest producers of agricultural seeds got together in the late 1990's to fix prices and control the market for those valuable biotechnology seeds, which are now planted on more than 100 million acres worldwide.

*UK Rejects GE:

Britain has done it. In a historic verdict, the British people have rejected genetically modified crops (GM crops) and foods.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,1050944,00.html

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/environment/story.jsp?story=446787

http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99994191

******************************************************

8. IMPORTANT DATES

**************************************************

OCTOBER:

*1 October – ‘Chat’ with Marian Hobbs.

*4 Oct Social Event (seed hikoi) - Music, Theatre, Speeches, Food, Fundraising, Thames

*7 October Third reading of the Noom Bill

*7 October GE Free activities in the Capital

*11 October March in Wellington

*11 October March in Auckland

*13 Oct Social Event (seed hikoi) - Music, Theatre, Speeches , Food, Fundraising, Rotorua

*Mid Oct March in Wellington

*16 October World Food Day www.fao.org/wfd/whatis_en.asp

*16 October 2003 inaugural new zealand children's food awards. Wgtn.

*18 Oct Social Event (seed hikoi) - Music, Theatre, Speeches, Food, Fundraising. Taupo

*19 Oct March in Christchurch

*23 October Seed Carriers to Parliament

*25 October – 29 October Tent City outside Parliament (Labour Weekend)

*29 OCTOBER proposed end of the moratorium on commercial GE release in NZ, deadline for petition.

NOVEMBER:

Erma road show

If you have moved or don't want to receive these updates let us know so we can keep the network up to date. Email melmaibpete@lycos.com

The networkers disclaim all responsibility for the actions and ideas of individuals or groups


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