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Consumers Urged To Reject Processed GE Cheese

Kedgley Urges Consumers To Reject Processed GE Cheese Too

Green MP Sue Kedgley is calling on Kiwi consumers to send a strong message to the Dairy Board that they don't want processed cheese with GE ingredients in it, after Sri Lanka rejected 20 cartons of New Zealand cheese.

A spokesperson for the Dairy Board Neville Martin told the Evening Post yesterday that GE emulsifiers would continue to be used in some cheeses in New Zealand, despite the availability of alternatives, until consumers showed they no longer wanted it.

"Consumers have power and its time they used it," said Ms Kedgley. "The vast majority of consumers don't want GE food, and I'm urging them use their voices and their dollars to tell the Dairy Board that."

The Royal Commission public opinion survey published this month showed that 73 percent of New Zealanders disapproved of using GE in processed foods.

Ms Kedgley said the Dairy Board was relying on the lack of labelling here and overseas to avoid giving consumers what they want.

"It sounds good for the Dairy Board to say consumers have to tell us what they want, but there will be no labelling for GE foods until December this year," said Ms Kedgley.

"Even then, the labels won't tell us whether there are additives like GE emulsifiers in our food because the system is so full of loopholes, and so consumers will remain in the dark."

However Ms Kedgley said there were lots of things consumers could do to show the Dairy Board they want GE-Free processed cheese.

They can ring the Dairy Board, write them a letter or contact them through their website. They can ask at their local supermarkets or dairy suppliers for processed cheese made with a GE-Free emulsifier. If any dairy company is prepared to guarantee that its processed cheese is GE-Free, then consumers can switch brands."

Ms Kedgley said the Dairy Board was going to get a serious shock when they realised that the new labelling scheme proposed in the EU would require all foods derived from genetically engineered organisms to be labelled.

"If the Dairy Board continues to fly in the face of consumer attitudes and support GE, they will pay the price - both here and overseas."

Ends

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