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Labour - Don’t Soil Our Image

Tuesday 30 September, 2003: Today the Labour caucus was prevented from leaving Premier House as Greenpeace attempted to dump tonnes of soil at both entrances with tip-trucks.

“We are keeping the Government in Premier House until they do the right thing and say no to GE. Why are they not listening to the 68% of people who want the moratorium extended?” said Greenpeace GE Campaigner Annette Cotter.

“Our key export countries are demanding GE free products, and NZ is perfectly placed to provide them. We rely heavily on our clean green image for trade, and this image will be soiled if the moratorium is lifted.”

Labour caucus is meeting today to discuss, amongst other things, the lifting of the GE moratorium at the end of October.

“This issue cannot be ignored – or swept under the carpet. Our soil is the basis of our environment and economy. Commonsense says keep NZ GE free.”

A Treasury Report released earlier this year looked at perceptions of NZ and GMOs. They found that 20% to 30% of overseas consumers’ said they would cease purchasing New Zealand commodities if New Zealand released GMO's.11 Treasury Report: Briefing on Genetic Modification Economic Analysis Cabinet Paper. 17 April 2003, (executive summary)

"New Zealand's greatest economic advantage is in being a GE free producer. Why is the Government compromising this, for no apparent reason?” said Ms Cotter.

For further information contact: Greenpeace Campaigner Annette Cotter – 021 553 225; Greenpeace Communications Officer Suzette Jackson – 021 577 556 Greenpeace Communications Officer Dean Baigent-Mercer – 021-790-817

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