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GE Risks Exposed At Fashion Week

19 September 2008

GE Risks Exposed At Fashion Week

Prominent anti-GE organisations will band together today outside AgResearch's show at Fashion Week to demonstrate that New Zealand must remain GE free and not become home to Œunfashionably' mutated genetically engineered animals.

"GE Free NZ (in food and environment), SAFE and the Soil and Health Association will today hold a different kind of Œfashion show' at a public vigil to protest plans by AgResearch to commercialise genetically engineered animals in New Zealand," says group spokesperson Jon Carapiet.

"We believe Crown research institute AgResearch's applications pose the single biggest threat ever to farm animals, New Zealand's cultural identity and our international image," says Mr Carapiet.

If approved, AgResearch will be able to conduct broad-ranging genetic experiments and go into commercial production of GE animals and products at sites around New Zealand. They will use cows, goats, sheep, pigs, deer, llama, horses, rats, mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, chickens and cell-lines from humans and monkeys.

AgResearch say GE animals provide "a practical way of producing sufficient quantity of proteins for biomedical or agricultural use." However the groups claim AgResearch is putting Brand New Zealand at serious risk.

"We need a middle path of ethical biotechnology, not the extreme science being proposed. There are alternatives that are not cruel or which do not cause deformities," says Mr Carapiet. "We need to have ethical uses of science that fit New Zealand's cultural values and positioning as clean, green and natural."

The groups are urging New Zealanders to make submissions before 31 October to oppose the four AgResearch applications currently before ERMA.

The group will stage the demonstration outside the AgResearch-sponsored show (Halsey St, off Fanshaw St, Auckland) from 3.30pm on Friday, 19th September.

ENDS

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