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Greenpeace make criticism of Clark GE position

Greenpeace make emphatic criticism of Clark GE position

Greenpeace today unveiled a billboard in central Wellington and erected a version of the billboard outside parliament in an emphatic criticism of the Clark Government's stance on genetic engineering (GE) and particularly the Government's failure to respond to widespread public opposition to the lifting of the GE moratorium.

The billboard is headed "Good leaders listen to the people" and depicts former Prime Ministers Norman Kirk and David Lange and current PM Helen Clark with historical images of anti-Vietnam, anti-nuclear and anti-GE protests corresponding to each PM with brief descriptions of the actions taken by the respective leaders.

Kirk and Lange receive approval ticks for their actions of withdrawing the last troops from Vietnam and declaring NZ nuclear free but beneath Clark is a large X due to the current PM's failure to keep the moratorium on GE release in force. The foot of the billboard reads "Why isn't Helen Clark listening?"

"Good leadership means listening and taking guidance from the people but on the GE issue Helen Clark has failed to do this," said Greenpeace campaigner Steve Abel. "The GE movement is comparable to any of the major social and environmental movements of the last thirty years. Whereas both Kirk and Lange responded with visionary leadership to high public concern regarding the Vietnam War, French nuclear testing and by declaring New Zealand nuclear free, Clark has been dismissive and gone against public feeling on GE."

"GE is an issue of democracy and Clark has bowed to the GE industry and ignored the people and the weight of economic and environmental risks posed by GE release."

"Helen Clark has previously said that 'she came into government to restore public faith in democracy.' There is still time for the PM to make an historic turnaround and extend the GE moratorium through an urgent act of parliament," concluded Mr Abel.

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