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GE Free NZ in food and environment

GE Free NZ in food and environment

Proposals to use semen from cloned bulls to sire cows whose milk will then be sold to Fonterra threaten New Zealand's international reputation.

An announcement today that " healthy" cloned bulls had been created in the Waikato, mark another step in the wrong direction for New Zealand agriculture, which is reliant on our clean, green and natural reputation.

" The plans to sell products from cows sired by the clones are ill-conceived, and Fonterra should publicly guarantee they will not use their milk," says Jon Carapiet from GE-Free NZ in food and environment.

" No food authority anywhere in the world has authorised products from cloned animals for human consumption and with good reason. The process of cloning is fundamentally flawed and every single clone is believed by scientists to have genetic damage, most of the time leading to untimely death."

The death of Dolly the sheep after it was discovered to suffer premature ageing, arthritis and lung problems, is the most famous example of "cloning success" going terrribly wrong. Human cloning , where people would be subjected to such faulty experimentation has also been mooted and there are even claims it has already been done.

Products from clones are different from most " GE " foods which are produced using antibiotic marker genes, viral promoters and random insertion of genes, however the cloning process itself has negative effects. The problem is to predict what damage has been done which in most cases is signalled by death, but in other cases may take years to reveal itself.

" This is the wrong direction for New Zealand agriculture, even though it might seem to promise big bucks to the companies involved," says Mr Carapiet. "The proposed use undermines the value and reputation of New Zealand milk products. People buying Anchor butter in Europe will not want a bar of it, and nor will people at home."

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