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"People's Contract" needed GE Contaminates Wheat

Call to Government for "People's Contract" as GE Contaminates Wheat

The Labour-lead government is being called on to promise New Zealanders that they will protect citizens' rights to grow, buy and eat GE-free food now and for future generations, under a " People's Contract".

The demand for the government to make a commitment similar to the "Kiwi Share" has been prompted by the discovery that conventional supplies of US wheat have already become GE-contaminated, and by the government's decision to accept widespread contamination as the basis of "co-existence" of GE in New Zealand.

Even before Monsanto has pushed through the commercialization of GE wheat, US exporters have admitted GE elements from other crops are being found in wheat.

The revelations make the prospect of wider contamination a virtual certainty if Monsanto pushes to commercialise GE wheat despite the damage to exports and the denial of people's right to avoid GE food if they want.

"The government must make a commitment to New Zealanders to protect our access to GE-Free food. According to their own claims and the Royal Commission's proposals for labelling GE-Free food, that means 100% GE-free, not 1% contamination, that would make a nonsense of food safety and consumer laws," says Jon Carapiet from GE-Free NZ in food and environment.

There is already enough evidence to show that it is fundamentally wrong to lift the moratorium on GE release just as other countries are introducing moratoria because of the risks. But the Labour-lead government are bullying their way on, backed by the likes of Monsanto and biotech-speculators.

The 'Kiwi share' negotiated with Telecom is one example of government making a commitment to protect the long-term interests of the New Zealand Public.

" It is time the government made some similar promises to New Zealander's about the right to eat 100% GE-Free foods," says Mr Carapiet.

" Helen Clark and her ministers must make this promise before they attempt to start commercial GE releases," says Mr Carapiet. "The new GE-release Bill now before a Parliamentary Select Committee must be amended to force ERMA, and other Ministries such as Trade, and Consumer Affairs, to guarantee this basic human right."

" This protection is entirely reasonable. The government will be condemning themselves out of their own mouths if they refuse to make such a contract with the people of New Zealand, or ignore the overwhelming demand from the people to have their right, to choose GE-Free food, preserved."

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