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Soil & Health Letter To MAF's Brett Sangster

The SOIL & HEALTH Assn of NZ (Inc)
Publishers of Organic NZ

Brett Sangster,
MAF Director Corporate Communications

Dear Mr Sangster

You have been reported as below,

" MAF spokesman Brett Sangster said yesterday a decision on what to do about any seeds planted would be made when it was found. Some crops might be destroyed, but some might be allowed to be grown. They could be harvested and exported to a nation prepared to accept them."

The Soil and Health Association is deeply disturbed at the consideration of allowing any GE contaminated crops to continue growing in the New Zealand environment, as well as harvesting any GE contaminated crops and further the consideration of then exporting such product.

As no commercial release of GE material has been granted, we are still successfully trading as GE Free and generally under the clean green banner, such harvest and sales will harm New Zealands trading image. Any such sales would usurp the democratic process of submissions to applications for commercial release and the consequent consideration of impacts from particular crops. Until GE crops are approved for release, any release is illegal and must be destroyed. Zero tolerance means zero.

Key research as recommended by the Royal Commission into Genetic Modification in 2001 into gaps of knowledge and areas of risk such as Horizontal Gene Transfer (HGT) in soils has not been completed and protective legislation is not in place to ensure the GM industry is responsible for containment of their product and all associated costs and liabilities. Please indicate a deferal from your reported statement. The Soil and Health Association of NZ also formally request specific details of the gene constructs and location of all GE contaminated seed and any GE contaminated plants in NZ.

Please note that this is an Official Information Act request.

Yours sincerely

Steffan Browning Co-chair

The Soil and Health Association of NZ

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