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Time to commit to a GE-free New Zealand

29 August 2013

Time to commit to a GE-free New Zealand

The Green Party has called on the Government to reconsider its commitment to fund further risky GE research when the rewards of such research have been virtually non-existent.

Independent think tank, the McGuinness Institute, today published a report that highlights the fact that not a single GE field test of the 57 done since 1988 has resulted in commercial benefit, while all the experiments have presented a constant risk to the environment and to our ‘100% Pure’ brand.

“The economics of GE simply don’t stack up,” said Green Party genetic engineering spokesperson Steffan Browning.

“Why are we continuing to allow risky GE experiments to take place outside of the lab when not a single experiment since 1988 has resulted in a tangible financial return?

“We are compromising our strong environmental reputation for a promised economic pay-out that – 25 years on – we’re still to see any benefit from.

“GE has failed to live up to its hype; it’s time we ended this dangerous experiment.

“Twenty-five years on, the Government should reassess our commitment to spend millions of dollars of taxpayer money on GE when the rewards are few but the risks are substantial.

“New Zealand’s long term economic future lies in producing and exporting food that is clean, green, and safe.”

The McGuinness report highlights that, since 1988, there have been 52 reported incidents involving GMOs. It finds that New Zealand is ‘less equipped to make a strategic decision to release GMO’s in the outdoors in 2013 than it was a decade ago’.

“We can redirect public money into smarter ways to farm organically, ensure the safety and traceability of our food production, raise animals in more humane ways, and lower the carbon footprint of farming,” Mr Browning said.

“Our big point of difference in the world can be a commitment to producing GM-free food and fibre. This is more valuable to us than the false promise of GE.”

Link to the McGuinness report on GE: http://www.mcguinnessinstitute.org/Site/Publications/Project_Reports.aspx

ENDS

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