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Shadows of DDT will haunt environment minister

11 September, 2003

Shadows of DDT will haunt environment minister

Nelson Green MP Mike Ward said environment minister Marion Hobbs was displaying "twisted logic" by allocating money to cleaning up contaminated sites when, at the same time, charging ahead with the lifting of the GE Moratorium.

"While the Greens welcome the Government's efforts and funding to clean up contaminated sites in New Zealand, it seems ironic that it charges ahead into another potential ecological disaster," said Mr Ward, the Green spokesperson for Waste.

"The Minister for the Environment would be wise to contemplate the fact that the chemicals contaminating orchards, farms, timber treatment sites and agricultural chemical sites like Mapua were all once considered to be safe according to scientific communities around the world.

"New Zealand is lucky that the chemical contamination is relatively contained and can be cleaned up, but there can be no containment once GE is released to the environment.

"There will be no possibility of a clean-up, whatever the cost, once the moratorium is lifted.

"A cynic might suggest that this announcement is timed to deflect attention from the lifting of the GE moratorium, but all New Zealanders would be wise to remember that leading GE proponent, Monsanto was the same company that vilified Rachael Carson when she alerted the world to the dangers of DDT.

"They were disastrously wrong then. They are tragically wrong now.

"Attempting to clean up one tragedy at the same time as aiding and abetting another tragedy of vastly greater proportions is an exercise in twisted logic," said Mr Ward.

"It is an important reminder that mistakes made decades ago now cost millions to fix. Once we open the door to GE we may never go back, no matter how much money any future Government wants to throw at the problem."

ENDS

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