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Soil and Health call for an organic New Zealand

GE Free NZ supports Soil and Health call for an organic New Zealand

GE Free NZ supports the vision for the future of NZ, the Soil and Health mandate resulting from their recent conference.

The fact that sustainable, clean, healthy food and environmental practices are upheld by organic management production is a major plus in our small nation. Organic principles uphold ethical and moral values of all cultures. Organic activities are ideals that all agricultural management systems aspire to with their reduction in chemical contamination and pollution.

Yesterday the European Parliament called on the European Commission to draw up tough new rules ensuring GE farmers meet the full costs of environmental contamination suffered by their conventional and organic counterparts. There is economic sense in imposing this kind of rules here since the NZ organic industry already commands a premium price on its produce and has an annual growth rate of around 10% with demand outstripping supply.

Biotechnology using marker assisted breeding programme (MAB) could be used to help speed up the selection of new cultivars. Special non GE cross breeding of rice has resulted in raised levels of zinc, vitamin A with farmers rights to save their own seed remaining intact. This contrasts with the patenting of GE varieties and poor results from the continuing use of GM crops which on average yield around 7% less than conventional and organic crops. Organic methods used in Africa are feeding villages, Ethiopia (2002) had a surplus of food for the first time in a decade.

"Within five years of the advent of commercial GM crops they will devastate and pollute all the agricultural food systems" said Claire Bleakley of GE Free (NZ)" Whereas conventional and organic crops can exist side by side within certain boundaries, it has been found that GMO environmental contamination is inevitable. Furthermore, published health studies show that there is cause for concern from new emerging diseases due to GMO horizontal gene transfer to the digestive system."

GE FREE (NZ) totally supports the resolutions mandated by Soil and Health and urges the Government to respect the integrity of the ecosystem and preserve the choice for people not to produce and consume GM crops.

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