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Biotech Industry warned of threat from darker side

Biotech Industry warned of threat from darker side of lobbying

Recent reports from overseas signal a darker side to industry lobbying for GM releases that threatens to undermine the standing of legitimate biotechnology, unless the industry agree to repudiate illegal and unethical marketing internationally.

Multinational biotech corporations backing lobby groups such as the Life Science Network believe they are close to victory in getting GM crops widely accepted and spread across the world. The reports detailed below show a different story which will undermine legitimate research and applications of gene technology unless it stops.

Though contamination from commercial GM applications indeed appears to be spreading, acceptance of GM food is not, and there are signs that promoters of GE foods are resorting to more sinister methods including unethical business practices.

" It is wrong to use threats to politicians as a form of lobbying and to knowingly accept rather than stop the illegal spread of GE contaminants occurring in some developing countries," says Jon Carapiet, a spokesperson for GE Free NZ In Food and Environment.

" When British government environment minister Michael Meacham adds his warning to that of local New Zealand politicians like Neil Kirton, there is cause for alarm."

GE-Free NZ believe recent media comment from New Zealand Life Science Network is an attempt to obscure the reality of the trend amongst consumers and farmers in the US and other countries against further GE commercialisations such as wheat.

New Zealand farmers and our regulators are clearly wrong to believe the image painted by industry for GM unless they too are under threat.

" It is in the best interests of the future of biotechnology and the Knowledge Economy if these companies publicly reject illegal threats and lobbying. They have the right to lobby, but they should also be more moderate by accepting full liability for accidental damage, or agree to hold off on commercial release", says Mr Carapiet.

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