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Call for Cross-Party GE-free food prod'n Consensus

Call for Cross-Party Consensus to protect GE-free Production in New Zealand

It is time for Political parties from across the spectrum to come together as they once did for superannuation and to agree to protect GM-free production in New Zealand.

A recent survey by DigiPoll shows there is massive public support for GE-Free agriculture in New Zealand and comes soon after Federated Farmers have also spoken out in support of GE-free agricultural production to protect our export markets.

Simon Terry from the Sustainability Council of New Zealand has called for all politial parties to come clean on their policy on GM release but GE Free NZ ( in food and environment) believe it is time to remove the GE issue from the poltical playground and confirm protection of GM-free produce as a cross-party policy in the National interest.

"New Zealand may have reached a defining moment in the GE debate when 75% of the public, Farmer organisations, major exporters, and the scientific community* all agree that we should not release GE organisms here," says Jon Carapiet from GE Free NZ in food and environment.

"It is not enough for parties to hide behind ambiguous policies on 'co-existence of GE' with conventional agriculture based on forcing farmers and consumers to accept low-level contamination," says Jon Carapiet.

"It is time for all politicians to commit to protecting our abilty to produce and market high-quality GE-free produce which is defined as having no GE content."

As well as public and farmer support for this policy in the National interest, research funded by MORST entilted "Hands Across The Water"* found that the scientific community spoken to also opposed environmental GE release at this time.

As highlighted by the Sustainability Council's statement of support for responsible science, New Zealand has much to be gained from a Science Policy based on contained and ethical research and applications of knowledge such as marker-assisted breeding and medicine that do not require environmental GE release and forced-acceptance of GE contamination.

In addition to environmental, health, ethical and marketing concerns the lack of commercial insurance to cover GE damage and the refusal by patent-holders to pay up for the contamination they cause exposes the public to huge costs and risks devastating our economy.

GE Free NZ in food and environment are calling for all political parties to fulfil the promise embodied in the findings of the Royal Commission on GM and make a clear committment to 'preserve our options' and protect our GE free status in food and field.

ENDS

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