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Labour Commits Economic Sabotage With GE

Labour Commits Economic Sabotage With GE

Despite the Labour Government's determination to commit economic sabotage with GE, the Green Party is equally determined to keep New Zealand GE-free, Green Party Co-leaders Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald said today.

"Labour has seriously miscalculated the international situation, the economic risks and the depth of public feeling on this issue. Labour and United must now take responsibility for what they have done. They will be held accountable for any damage to our health, our soils, our environment, our economy, our export brand.

"They have set up ERMA (the Environmental Risk Management Authority) to take the rap if things go wrong - to get GE off the political agenda. It won't work. They are ultimately responsible."

Despite the GE moratorium expiring at midnight tonight, New Zealand is still a GE-free country, Ms Fitzsimons said. The Green Party will be working with the overwhelming majority of New Zealanders who want to keep it that way.

"While the moratorium was the best way to protect New Zealand's GE free status, it is not the only protection. The next phase of the campaign starts today." The Green Party will:

* Watch for the first application for GE release, make it very public and bring the best research and science to the hearings to oppose it.

* Monitor the GE regulator ERMA's performance, pointing out its defects and continuing to call for it to be strengthened.

* Publicise the latest effects of GE overseas and the latest research findings.

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* Campaign for proper labelling and traceability of GE foods in New Zealand.

The Greens today celebrate their successes on GE. "We have had a moratorium on GE release for four years since petitioning for one in 1999, when Monsanto was within a day or two of applying for canola release here," Ms Fitzsimons said.

"It is now very unlikely that GE canola crops will be approved here, as the past four years' experience in North America has shown how impossible it is to contain canola pollen and seed. That's a huge win.

"Opposing GE was a minority issue when we started in 1998; it is now mainstream - with majority support. Support is building all the time, and it won't go away. GE will be an election issue, and we will use all our influence to protect New Zealand from this dangerous technology."

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