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Get your GE Free submissions in now!

15 April 2006

Get your GE Free submissions in now!

Get your GE Free submissions in now! Councils throughout New Zealand are rushing to get their Long Term Council Community Plans finished and implemented by June. GE Free NZ is anxious they shouldn't overlook the 'community value' reflected in the fact that 75% of Kiwis oppose release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

With the help of GE Free Waikato, an automatic submission form has been set up at http://www.gefreeseeds.com/submission_to_council.htm . Catherine Iremonger said, "I worked on the site because I realised how daunting the official process can be.

With this site submissions can be sent to your local council anywhere in the country just by filling in your contact details and selecting the name of your local council." Northland peninsula councils (ie. Waitakere City, Rodney District and the Northland councils) have investigated the costs they might incur if a GE release in their area went wrong and they had to pay for the clean up.

They have commissioned two independent reports and two legal opinions by Dr. Royden Somerville, QC.

Those reports confirm the financial risks for ratepayers. GE Free NZ's Claire Bleakley said, "It's important that councils reflect their communities values. Every week more news about the health and economic hazards of GE comes to light.

Recently we've had the medical catastrophe involving a young New Zealander in a GE drug trial in the UK, the international ban on 'terminator seeds' at the Convention on Biodiversity in Brazil last month and the contamination of Spanish crops with GMO. Councils which don't take action are soon going to find themselves out on a limb, but it needs those submissions to start the process."

The standard submission on the web site can be varied to suit individual circumstances. It urges councils to investigate ways of keeping their areas free of GMOs, except in laboratory containment, until issues such as liability, economic costs and benefits, environmental risks, and cultural effects are resolved.

ENDS


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