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Green Party to support GE labellers at court

Nov 2, 1999

Green Party to support GE labellers at court

At Auckland District Court tomorrow Green Party Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons will support three people charged with "wilful damage" after they labelled genetically engineered food.

The three are due to appear at 10am as a result of a labelling "day of action" in May this year, when GE activists around New Zealand labelled food in supermarkets thought to contain GE ingredients. The protest brought attention to the Government's continual sidelining of the GE labelling issue, with no official labels in New Zealand yet and none expected under National until at least 2001.

The three were caught labelling food at Pak N Save, Mt Albert, Auckland. A protest supporting them will start at 9.30am tomorrow outside the court. One of the three is wheelchair-bound and another is a mother with a new-born baby.

Today Ms Fitzsimons said it was ridiculous the labellers were charged with wilful damage when the real wilful damage was being caused by large international firms such as Monsanto, and by a National government which allowed Monsanto to use New Zealand as a GE test ground.

"Monsanto is using our children to test its food and these three people, and other young people who labelled supermarket food, were providing essential information for parents who don't want their children to be used as guinea pigs," she said.

"The labellers were also merely doing what the Government has promised to do. But instead of keeping to its promises to label GE food, National is sidelining the issue until after the election. Meanwhile food authorities continue to allow new examples of unlabelled GE food to be stocked on shop shelves," Ms Fitzsimons said.

(See also "Monsanto wants OK..." release issued earlier today)

Jeanette Fitzsimons MP 025 586068, 07 8686641. Paul Bensemann, Press Secretary 021 214 2665


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