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School children vulnerable to biotech industry PR

School children vulnerable to biotech industry PR

The government's plan to promote Biotechnology to schoolchildren would be welcomed by GE-Free NZ in Food and Environment if the government could show a commitment to genuine science and the precautionary principle.

Unfortunately until that becomes possible, parents and teachers can have little confidence that the potential benefits of biotechnology will not also be used to promote genetic engineering in the open environment and to mislead young people rather than inform them.

Recent comments from government ministers have revealed their lack of understanding about the issues surrounding GM, a subset of biotechnology that carries uninsurable risks, and outside the lab can cause irreversible contamination.

" When Phil Goff supports a trade complaint at the WTO to push GE food on Europe, he fails to realise he is participating in a scientifically-corrupt process driven by commercial interests, not sound research,' says Jon Carapiet, from GE Free NZ in food and environment.

" Marian Hobbs is pushing a bill to allow commercial release of GE based on co-existence that will require all food to allow ' acceptable levels of GE contamination'. At the same time the government is supposed to be enabling a labelling regime for GE-Free food that would in effect be illegal as no foods will any longer be GE free," says Mr Carapiet.

" There are many good scientists who know that the Life Sciences industry are sacrificing the precautionary principle, business ethics, sustainability and human rights to push their products. Those scientists must speak out and ensure the education system serves the interests of the students, rather than sells them corporate PR designed to mislead them."


Jon Carapiet 09 815 3370

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