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Innovative Report on GMO Management Welcomed

PRESS RELEASE 16 November 2005

GE Free Northland Welcomes Innovative Report on GMO Management

GE FREE NORTHLAND welcomes the release of the “Risks Evaluation and Options Report”, as commissioned by Waitakere City Council, Rodney, Kaipara, Whangarei and Far North District Councils.

Both widespread community concern and a growing concern about the ability of central government agencies to protect our existing GM free status have led to the joint study sponsored by the five local authorities. The focus of this study was to examine in greater depth the risks to local government and their communities posed by GMO releases to the environment.

Under existing legislation in NZ, the release of GMOs to the environment may create financial exposure for local government, including the Northland peninsula councils, and the costs involved could be substantial.

GE FREE NORTHLAND encourages local government to act on the concerns of ratepayers and work to ensure the regions economy and environment is protected by making appropriate changes to the District Plan and Long Term Council Community Plan.

A spokeswoman for GE FREE NORTHLAND, Zelka Grammer has said that there are many benefits to maintaining our existing GM free status.

“NZ’s “clean green” brand and reputation for providing safe, high quality food is a most important asset to retain. Ideally, a shared approach to prohibiting GM activities will be taken by local government on a regional level,” said Ms. Grammer.

Northland peninsula is ideally placed geographically to achieve the distinction of a Regional Exclusion Zone for GMOs, which would minimise the economic, environmental, public health and liability exposures from GM experiments and releases while protecting its “Northland Naturally” brand and uniqueness.

We applaud the commitment of local government to address the critical GE issue, as the Labour led government continues to ignore the concerns of many eminent scientists, local authorities and our key markets, as well as the majority of New Zealanders.

ENDS

GE FREE NORTHLAND (in Food & Environment)
http://www.gefreenorthland.org.nz

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