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GE Free NZ support the Greens

www.gefree.org.nz
Press Release 19.10.01

GE Free NZ support the Greens in their stance and urge the government to make a stand on behalf of the people it represents.

Thousands of people, over 14,000 signatures, around New Zealand have signed a GE Free NZ petition, asking the government to stop the use of genetic engineering in

both our food and environment. Nationwide support of a GE Free New Zealand, has seen many communities urge their local councils to take action on their behalf.

98,000 people signed a petition asking for a Royal Commission, an election promise, the government instigated the Royal Commission on GM, the first in the world. The report points to serious risks, inherent in GE technology, but unknown in their impact on both our health and that of our environment.

The scientific fraternity are divided, concerted attacks from Life Sciences Network attempting to discredit those against GE, have denounced the public. The lobbying of governments around the world, results in the erosion of standards and the Precautionary Principle. The proliferating use of GE has already resulted in widespread contamination of Canadian and US crops and the US food supply. Democracy eroded by a lack of choice of GE-Free foods; and unethical practices, such as the patenting of life-forms, a ban on the use of GE in our environment and our food supply is justified.

An undermining of conventional knowledge and enduring wisdom of sustainable agriculture apparent, as monetary, and international interests are pushed to the forefront. The world in turmoil, we should preserve our agricultural economy and future food security.

Our regulatory agencies are not, as stated by pro GE groups, the toughest in the world, but lax (See UK Sunday Times Jan 9th 2000) Audits, of ERMA and MAF, found widespread indiscretions and abuse of procedures, which have been overlooked despite the law allowing prosecution.

Adequate environmental laws exist to protect our sustainable future and succeeding generations, but minimised, enable continued contamination of our environment. The HSNO Act and RMA should prevent any permanent contamination of our environment if adhered to, but risks remain while the prolonged effects of GE DNA on our environment are unestablished.

Those risks may well evolve into something we are not prepared for, governments socialising the risks, as insurers and biotech companies will not bear them, the public will be forced to foot the bill. A decision to 'proceed with caution' will be undemocratic, it is the public will ultimately suffer if adverse circumstances arise. Our elected government, should surely uphold the wishes of ordinary New Zealanders and support a GE Free future. GE Free NZ support the Greens in their stance and urge the government to make a stand on behalf of the people it represents.

For more info. Susie Lees 03 546 7966

GE Free New Zealand In Food And Environment (RAGE) Inc. PO Box 693, Nelson Tel 03 548 6608 Fax 03 546 5036 gefree@ts.co.nz

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