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NZ Public Not Stupid

Press Release 20 September, 2002
BIO-GRO New Zealand
For immediate release


NZ public not stupid

Bio-Gro New Zealand completely rejects statements made by Dr Steve Sonka about the UK Soil Association report released on Tuesday and markets for GM crops. Bio-Gro questions why AGMARDT, a New Zealand research funder, appear to have paid for someone from overseas to come to New Zealand and essentially make political statements which mislead farmers here about clear market signals in important markets such as Europe.

The report released on Tuesday by UK Soil Association is a comprehensive document, which after review of related research, extensive interviews with farmers and industry analysts, and comparison of actual statistics concludes that the commercial growing of GM crops in North America has been less than successful. The Soil Association report concurs with similar conclusions made by the US Dept of Agriculture in June.

Dr Sonka claims that US farmers losing markets in Europe is a result of non-tariff trade barriers. This claim is nonsense. Loss of key markets such as Europe and Asia is a direct result of consumers’ rejection of GM food. This consumer rejection has led to some supermarket chains in UK and Europe refusing to stock GM products.

Bio-Gro again urges all New Zealand farmers and those on both sides of the GM debate to read the Soil Association report. A copy can be obtained from the UK Soil Association website www.soilassociation.org

“To ignore the results of this study showing that 6 years of growing GM crops in overseas countries has disadvantaged farmers and their industry would be stupid. New Zealand farmers and public are smarter than that !” said Bio-Gro CEO Seager Mason.

- Bio-Gro NZ is the trading name of the New Zealand Biological Producers and Consumers Council Inc

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