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Nelson City GE Decision – Emotion Over Reason

Nelson City GE Decision – A Triumph Of Emotion Over Reason

The decision of Nelson City to go GE Free poses serious problems for citizens, which the City Council has obviously failed to think through, the Chairman of the Life Sciences Network, Dr William Rolleston, said today.

“In the first place the Council is likely to put the City at risk of being in breach of the Fair Trading Act. If the City promotes itself as GE-Free then it is clear it must not allow any GE products to be present within the city’s boundaries.

“To achieve GE-Free status it would have to stop all GE medicines such as GE insulin for 90% of the diabetics living within the city; such as GE hepatitis B vaccine; such as GE produced enzymes in washing powders and proteins in food. The Fair Trading Act does not allow people to describe something as being GE-Free if it isn’t 100% GE-Free.

“Does this mean that anyone who must use GE products, or chooses to, will be forced to leave Nelson City for breach of the GE-Free code. If this is the outcome there are serious issues to do with people’s constitutional rights to live how they choose.

“Nelson appears to be setting a standard which it will be impossible for people and business to comply with and is at risk of being hoist by its own petard.

“Nelson residents are faced with the prospect of being scornfully referred to as: ‘Nearly GE-Free Nelson’; or ‘Partly GE-Free Nelson’. Think what that will do for their reputation in New Zealand and overseas.

“It is disappointing that Nelson City Council took this step before the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification had reported but not surprising in view of the large number of alternative life-stylers who live in the Nelson area.

“Nelson people will have an opportunity to decide whether they want this decision foist on them when they go to the polls later this year,” concluded Dr Rolleston.

For further information, contact:

Dr William Rolleston Francis Wevers

Chairman Executive Director

Phone 03 612 6688 Phone 04 916 0100

Mobile 025 246 0634 Mobile 021 916010

Date: Friday, 6 April 2001

Francis Wevers Executive Director NZ Life Sciences Network (Inc) PO Box 715, Wellington, New Zealand Ph +64 4 9160100 Mobile 021 916010 Fax + 64 4 4731081 Email fwevers@lifesciencenz.com Website www.lifesciencenz.com


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