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Rainbow Warrior receives moving welcome


Friday 14 May 2004: The Rainbow Warrior sailed into Auckland's Waitemata Harbour today with anti-GE banners flying. The crew of the Greenpeace flagship received a moving welcome. She is here on the New Zealand leg of the GE-Free trans-Tasman Tour, which is part of a global focus by the international environmental organisation to stop the spread of genetically engineered soy.

The Rainbow Warrior was warmly welcomed into Princess Wharf with a powhiri by tangata whenua, local Greenpeace workers and the kapa haka group from Hoani Waititi School.

"I've been to New Zealand before but have never had such a wonderful welcome", said the dutch Captain of the Rainbow Warrior Frans van Dijk. "We had a tough trip across the Tasman, so we're very happy to be in New Zealand and we're looking forward to getting on with the campaign."

"The Rainbow Warrior is a powerful symbol and a true workhorse for the good of the planet", said Steve Abel of Greenpeace New Zealand. "Her presence here links our GE free campaign in New Zealand with recent successes in Australia and the historic nuclear free pacific campaign in which the first Warrior was lost."

Greenpeace New Zealand is running a public campaign for Australian poultry company Inghams to stop using GE soy feed for their chickens (1). Inghams imports around 50,000 tonnes of GE contaminated soy into New Zealand each year. They also provide McDonalds chicken.

"GE crops are bad for the environment. Production of GE soy has lead to increased chemical use, herbicide resistant weeds, lower yields and contamination of conventional and organic crops," said Abel. "Inghams GE soy feed is the biggest source of GE contamination in the New Zealand food chain and people don't want to eat GE fed chicken" (2).

The Warrior is berthed at Princess Wharf. Free public open boats will be held on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 May. Her inspiring history and ongoing work will be told to the public by crew members and local campaigners. Tours are from 10am until 4pm on each day. There will also be school group tours of the Rainbow Warrior over the coming week.

For further information please contact: Greenpeace Campaigner; Steve Abel, 021 565 175 Greenpeace Communications Officer; Suzette Jackson, 021 577 556 To download free images: http://www.greenpeace.org.nz/photos/14May04 Fotopress images: http://www.fotopress.co.nz

(1) Roundup Ready soy DNA content, in relation to the total soy DNA of this [Inghams] sample, is 85% (+/-10%), AgriQuality, 10 June 2003. Full results can be viewed at: www.greenpeace.org.nz/campaigns/ge

(2) Independent research done for Tegel found that 75% of consumers wanted chickens that had not been fed GE soy meal, NZ Herald, 29 August 2001. Tegel, New Zealand's largest poultry company, have had an active non-GE feed policy since 2001. Tegel import certified non-GE feed from the US.


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