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The Future of NZ is GE Free


The Future of NZ is GE Free                          26 September 2008


GE Free NZ notes that the young Greens are visiting pubs in Auckland, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

Decisions made by young voters about who they vote for, and the type of country they will inherit, cannot be clearer than for the issue of a GE Free NZ.

“We would like to reiterate that it will be the young who inherit a country formed by decisions that are made today,” says Clare Bleakley from GE Free NZ (in food and environment.  

“Young people have a right to expect permanent protection of New Zealand’s Brand image which is clearly reflected in the recent advertising of Steinlager as being GE Free.“

The message successfully put forward by Steinlager characterises the New Zealand Brand as forward thinking, and principled on many issues.  It was the first country to go Nuclear Free, to give women the vote, and to have one of its greatest sons climb Mount Everest.

However, a case was taken to the Advertising Standards Tribunal for misleading advertising over the statement “You are now saying No to genetic modification”. 

The complaint was not upheld.

In the Complaints Board’s view, Harvey Keitel was simply stating that New Zealander’s have not only achieved certain milestones but they are also saying that they do not want genetic modification in New Zealand. They are not saying that genetic modification is not being practiced in New Zealand, because some testing has been carried out, simply that they do not want it. The Complaints Board concurred with the Advertiser’s submission that GE/ GM was an on going issue, not a matter that had been resolved, and therefore the phrase “…Now you are saying no to genetic modification…” had to be examined in that light.

“It would be a great step for this country if we are the first nation to go Organic and reinstate the moratorium of the commercial release of genetically modified organisms,” says Claire Bleakley.

Public surveys show majority support for keeping New Zealand’s environment and agricultural production GM-free, whilst still allowing for ethical uses of gene technology in full containment.

“We hope that young people will be showing their support for a GE Free NZ in what they choose to drink tonight,” says Claire Bleakley. “Their future is GE-free.”



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