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Fonterra shareholders' livelihoods threatened


Fonterra shareholders' livelihoods threatened

Fonterra’s shareholders are being directly threatened by the admission that the use of GE ingredients is increasing in supplementary feed for dairy cattle.

“Currently only milk, supplied to Fonterra, from organically certified properties can be guaranteed to be free from exposure to the GE supplements" says Glenn Mead, Chairman, Organic Dairy and Pastoral Group.

Fonterra trades on New Zealand cows being fed ”lush green grass, year round” to produce high quality milk, which is exported to more than 100 countries around the world. The discovery of GE meal rising in the food chain questions this claim.

Cows being fed GE-based supplements has not raised concern for Fonterra who recently commented that it does not impact on the status of the milk, and doesn't require a change to the labelling requirements under New Zealand, Australian and European Union regulations.

"This attitude is very disappointing, as Fonterra has failed to acknowledge in this statement the customer. Worldwide there are strong consumer concerns over GE. Shareholders will carry the fiscal loss should a consumer backlash result. Farmers with no income protection insurance are the most vulnerable" says Debbie Swanwick, Spokesperson, Soil & Health - Organic NZ.

"It is important that all shareholders are protected from risk to their livelihoods and we ask that Fonterra enforces an immediate ban on all GE animal foods in their producers milk chain. To ensure this we ask that Government put in place a policy to require labelling of all animal feed advising farmers of its GE status" says Swanwick.

Listed units in the Fonterra Shareholders fund went on sale today and trading on the NZX is expected to start on November 30. Reports to date suggest farmers are lukewarm on the trading among farmers (TAF) prospectus launch.

Imported GE animal meal is controlled by Cargill a Monsanto owned grain and production Company, Monsanto being the largest owner and developer of genetically engineered foods.

"The discovery of GE in NZ stock feeds suggests Monsanto/Cargill is frustrated with New Zealand’s GE safety regulation and has decided to circumnavigate the strict regulations and contaminate the animal food chain destroying New Zealand's GE free status” says Debbie Swanwick, Spokesperson, Soil & Health - Organic NZ.

'Choice' was strongly pushed by the vice chair of Federated Farmers, Dr. Rolleston recently yet such actions by a maverick element of GE proponents compromises that. "As representatives of one of the largest consumer groups in NZ - farmers, Federated Farmers have yet to call for transparency on this issue. We will do it on behalf of NZ farmers. Control should not be given to an overseas interest to decide on their behalf" says Swanwick.

Soil & Health is one of the oldest organic organisations in the world and promote GE free, organic, fresh and healthy food. Oranga Nuku, Oranga Kai Oranga Tangata.

ENDS

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