Petition calls for GE Free Wellington
The Wellington Green Party has launched a petition calling on councils to declare the Wellington region a "GE (Genetically Engineering) Free Zone".
More than 200 signatures were collected in the first afternoon of the petition on Saturday and the Mayors and Councillors of the Wellington region have been sent a letter calling on them to declare their councils GE Free Zones.
Already, a couple of local bodies in Auckland - Balmoral and Devonport wards, and Waiheke Island - have declared themselves GE free and others around the country are considering it.
Safe Food campaigner and Green Party Wellington List candidate Sue Kedgley said the aim of the GE Free Zone proposal was to support the public's desire to keep their food free of potentially harmful genetically engineered contaminants.
The petition urges councils to declare their city/district a GE-Free Zone and ensure that council publications and marketing material reflect this policy.
"Local government has a tradition of showing this kind of leadership, as they have done by declaring Nuclear-Free Zones," Ms Kedgley said.
Councils can also promote their cities as GE free by encouraging their food and visitor industries and businesses to refrain from using genetically modified organisms; encouraging growers and farmers to continuing growing GE free products, and providing GE information and displays at local libraries, Ms Kedgley said.