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Greenpeace should Read the Royal Commission Report

28 August 2001 PR133/01

Greenpeace should Read the Royal Commission Report

The push by Greenpeace for an extended moratorium on genetic modification past the 31 October 2001 deadline offered by the Life Sciences Network should be rejected, Federated Farmers of New Zealand President of Alistair Polson said today.

"Greenpeace should stop twisting the findings of the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification for their own propaganda purposes," said Mr Polson. "Contrary to Greenpeace's economic forecasting, it is not clear that New Zealand will benefit from being GE free."

The Royal Commission found that the extremes of a GE free New Zealand or the unrestricted use of GE 'would significantly restrict New Zealand's future choices and has the potential to impose considerable costs. All sectors of our economy should remain viable and be able to extend to their full potential within the constraints of a competitive environment.'

"Farmers support a cautious approach to GM technology and will proceed only if it meets market demands, and subject to safety and environmental assessment," said Mr Polson.

"New Zealand's international reputation as a food producer is built on its record for safety, quality and the application of innovative technology underpinned by a strong scientific base. We agree with the Royal Commission's conclusion that it would be unwise to turn our backs on the potential advantages on offer but we must proceed carefully, minimising and managing risks."

"The adoption of a single marketing strategy based on one type of production system is equally unwise as it would reduce our flexibility to respond to the diversity of consumers preferences. New Zealand farmers must be allowed to make their own decisions about what they produce in response to market opportunities," Mr Polson said.

ENDS

For more information: Alistair Polson PH 025 370 085 Catherine Petrey PH 04 473 7269



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