Thu, 24 Jun 2004
Rainbow Warrior Captain's charges dismissed
Port Kembla, NSW, Thursday 24th June 2004: The charges against Rainbow Warrior captain, Derek Nicholls, were today dismissed by the magistrate due to Nicholls good character.
At a hearing at Port Kembla courthouse south of Sydney, 53 year old Nicholls was dismissed of the charge of "failing to comply with directions by a harbour master". On April 26, The Rainbow Warrior blocked Port Kembla harbour, preventing cargo ship The Rhein from exiting. The Rhein was bound for Melbourne, where it was to deliver its cargo of genetically engineered soy.
Nicholls, of Kerikeri, NZ, said it would have been his first conviction in almost ten years as skipper on Greenpeace vessels. In a statement outside Port Kembla courthouse Nicholls said, "Our blockade was successful in highlighting a very important issue. As a father, I'm concerned about the impacts of genetically engineered food on the health and safety of my children and of future generations".
Greenpeace has discovered that as much as 300,000 tonnes of GE soy enters the Australian food chain unlabelled each year, with Inghams and other members of the poultry industry, prime traders in the imported product.
Recent market research commissioned by Greenpeace found that 61% of consumers would be less likely to buy foods from animals fed genetically modified feed, while 92% of consumers want these products labelled.
The Rainbow Warrior is about to set sail for Fiji, on a three month tour promoting sustainable fishing in the Pacific.