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Greenpeace alerts NZ farmers to GE disaster in US


New Report: GE economic disaster in Nth America – Greenpeace alerts NZ farmers

A damning new report from the UK Soil Association demonstrates that GE food crops have been a practical and economic disaster, estimated to have cost the US economy at least NZ$ 25 billion between 1999 and 2001 in farm subsidies, lower crop prices, loss of major export markets and product recalls. UK Soil Association director, Patrick Holden said on National Radio this morning that: “the technical difficulties of containment look to be nearly insuperable and the [farmers] right of choice has been insidiously eroded by the introduction of GM crops.”

“This is crucial information about the GE shambles that has unfolded in North America and is a must-see for all New Zealand farmers,” said Greenpeace GE campaigner Steve Abel.

Greenpeace has mailed copies of the report to Federated Farmers throughout New Zealand and to politicians. “We are calling on Federated Farmers to assist in making this report widely available to their farmers and growers, and calling on the Government to respond to these findings.”

According to the report: Widespread GE contamination at all levels of the food and farming industry has severely disrupted GE-free production, destroyed trade and undermined the competitiveness of North American agriculture overall. GE crops have also increased the reliance of farmers on herbicides and led to many legal challenges. Farmers are not achieving the higher profits promised as markets for GE food collapse.

The extent of problems with GE crops has compelled over 200 groups representing farmers and the organic sector in the USA and Canada to call for a moratorium on the introduction of the next major proposed GE food crop, GE wheat.

The new report states that: “In North America farmer ignorance was one of the biotechnology industry’s greatest marketing assets, explaining to a large extent how GE crops were introduced there in the first place.”

The call from Greenpeace for farmers to read the report follows a statement from Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton last week about the “need for farmers to have a voice in the GE debate.”

“Greenpeace agrees that farmers must have a voice on the GE issue and this report is the voice of the most GE experienced farmers in the world.”

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