People’s moratorium launch begins new phase of GE free campaign
Wellington, Wednesday, 29 Oct 2003: Key groups campaigning against GE release in New Zealand will today deliver a strong message that “the battle is not over” as they launch the next phase of the GE Free campaign: The People’s Moratorium.
“Today against the will of the New Zealand public, against the preference of our international markets and against environmental and health risks the government are lifting the moratorium on GE release. This failure of government to act democratically or in the public interest means it now falls to the people to defend New Zealand from unwanted GE organisms. Today begins the Peoples Moratorium,” said Greenpeace spokesperson Steve Abel.
At 1.30pm today a Press Conference will be held at Turnbull House in Wellington where Greenpeace, Mothers Against Genetic Engineering (MAdGE), GE Free New Zealand, Take 5, and the GE Free Register will give strong messages celebrating the successes of the campaign to date and resolving to keep-up the work on securing New Zealand’s GE free status. A new portal site linking to the key action sites is also being launched: www.gefreepeople.net
The groups will encourage the public to act by working to get their regions declared GE free zones and by declaring their own properties as such, by demanding that food companies continue to remove GE ingredients from their products and by formally and creatively challenging any applications to grow GE crops in New Zealand.
“Today is a hollow victory for the government because despite the moratorium ending the prospects for GE crops in New Zealand are the worst they have ever been,” said Abel.
“Through the power of public rejection GE crops become an ever more marginal prospect. A mounting number of producers are declaring their unwillingness to grow GE crops and major food companies continue to remove GE ingredients from their products. These trends are set to continue and the public dissent, predicted to disappear years ago, grows only stronger as more is understood about the unfounded myths and multi-million dollar failures of this technology around the world.”
“If the people’s resolve remains strong and our demand for GE free food and a GE free land does not falter then GE cannot prevail – because the people eat the food and the people live in the land, and the people is who industry and the politicians are ultimately answerable to.”